The Legalities of Owning an App
So back in May 2012 I published an app entitled Food Substitutes. This app was a team effort between my wife and me. It was her idea and she came up with the content of the app. I wrote all the code and figured out all the technical stuff. It was a fun idea, my wife is a really good cook, and I was itching for a new project so I did it. There are still many additional updates that I have planned for it but life and general busyness has stopped me from putting as much effort as I would like into continuing improvements (hoping that will change soon though).
Anyway around that time I started to realize that since this is a food related app and in this app why wife gives ideas (I hesitate to say advice) I should really think about the legalities of owning an app. This thought led from one thing to the next until I came up with a list of questions that I had relating to legal issues that surround owning an app. After a few quick Google searches I realized that this information was not as easily available as I had hoped.
In the end I did a lot of research, and a lot of it also counted as a project for my master’s degree. I thought I would share what I learned. Most of this research was done to publish an Android app but I would guess that most of it is the same for an iPhone app as well.
Please note that in no way am I attempting to give legal advice or support any websites that I have listed. This is just a compilation of things I believe I learned. I still recognize that there are many areas that I don’t I may be in error. Please consult a lawyer or other legal counselor with any legal matters.
- Do I need to start a business to publish an app?
- How do I charge taxes for the people who buy my app?
- How do I pay taxes on the money earned?
- Do I need a legal disclaimer on my app?
- Do I need to copyright my app or is it already copyrighted?
- Should I try to patent my app?
- What about trademarks and trade secrets?