- Apps likely contain several elements of intellectual property. Protect copyrights, patents and trade secrets as you would in other software projects (employee and contractor agreements, copyright registrations, trademark registrations, patent applications, keep code secure, non-disclosure agreements).
- Become familiar with and comply with each app marketplace’s (Apple’s App Store, Google Play, Windows Phone Store, Blackberry World, Facebook Mobile Apps, etc.) terms of service and app developer agreements.
- Comply with COPPA if you develop or offer children’s apps. Collecting health information or financial information from users in the U.S. triggers the need to comply with additional privacy laws.
- Carefully protect the personal and device-specific information you collect from consumers and dispose of it when no longer needed. Encrypt data that is transmitted. Avoid storing passwords in plain text.
- If your app involves bitcoin or other virtual currencies, become familiar with and comply with relevant laws, regulations, and platform rules. Research reasons for past denials and adapt your app accordingly to avoid having your app denied by platforms.
- If you expect to have users from outside the U.S., make sure your policies and practices are compliant with relevant international laws. Privacy laws differ greatly around the world.
Ten Legal Practice Tips: Developing and Distributing Apps
January 31, 2014