Copyright Protection

Intellectual property for design

ruben rizzi Web and mobile developer

June 25th, 2017

A potential client of mine asked to provide a small prototype for the app he wants to develop. The problem is he is not my client yet and he wants to decide which digital agencies assign the app development according to which prototype developed by them matches his vision the most.

My question is pretty simple: do you have legal advices to protect the design samples I'll send him? Do you also have other practical advices to provide the assets in a less accessible way?

PS: I am based in the UK.

Paul Nielsen

June 25th, 2017

I've been in this situation many times. You can't force the sale based on IP. You have to Wow them by demonstrating to them that you understand the user and the vision better then they do. Show how you have considered issues in the app that they haven't even thought of before. That's how you'll win the contract. Good Luck.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

June 26th, 2017

Sure, this happens at agencies all the time. Bill him for the work you do up-front, including ideation. You'll be glad to include the money he paid in the total bill if he chooses your work. And if he takes your design to someone else, at least he has paid for it. Don't let people get away with looking for free comps to inspire other designers/programmers. And by all means, do not give him access to any of the behind-the-scenes raw files, only let him see the finished product with a comp. You also need to decide what the price difference will be if he wants your app as a finished product that you maintain, or if he wants to own the code behind the app too. There's a significant difference in pricing.