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Axis Legal Counsel’s Mobile App Law Practice
Represents Mobile App Clients Throughout Los Angeles and California
The conception, development, production, distribution, and monetization of a mobile app on the iTunes store or Android based can be a thrilling adventure. Although most of the work is developmental in nature, mobile app developers need legal counsel as well. There are a variety of operational, intellectual property, structural, privacy, in-app purchase, bitcoin, and other legal issues that need to be dealt with. If you are a mobile app developer or production team and need legal counsel, please contact AXIS Legal Counsel. AXIS represents a variety of startups, developers, founders, influencers, and others with respect to mobile app development. Contact us today at (213) 403-0130 for a free, confidential, and no-risk consultation.
If you are seeking a Mobile App Attorney or Mobile App Lawyer, contact us today. In as little as 10 or 15 minutes, you can have peace of mind as to your legal matter by speaking to an experienced attorney who regularly counsels mobile app clients. We offer free telephonic consultations to clients, and a variety of flat-fee, project-based, and progressive billing options designed to meet every need.
WHAT MAKES AXIS DIFFERENT?
Top Mobile App Law Legal Issues
Legal Issues Arising in Mobile App Development
Mobile app development is on the cutting edge of today’s technology. However, the interplay between existing legal rules and laws, and new technologies can sometimes create susceptibilities or vulnerabilities for app developers. The legal issues involving mobile app development span from business law, securities transactions, financings, intellectual property, contracts and agreements between the entrepreneurs, technical staff, developers, and end-users, protecting the mobile app from infringement, idea theft, and unauthorized use, issues concerning privacy law, advertising, including limitations by the FTC, State regulations, and a whole host of federal and state regulatory compliance issues.
Corporate Structure of Mobile App Production Companies and Holding Companies
Will you be selling your app individually or has a proper corporate entity between formed to hold the mobile app’s assets and income? Many app distributors (like iTunes, Amazon, Google) want owner/founder and bank account information for the mobile app developer, and if you begin distributing your app for sale to the public before thinking through the details of the correct legal entity that should be selling/distributing the app, then you may end up with delays with your app distribution company. You may even end up needing an attorney to prepare the documentation necessary to transfer assets from you individually to your legal entity to assure distributors that the individual or entity (you) preparing the app and presenting it for distribution is the same and correct entity that should be receiving income out of sales for the app. There are important legal and tax consequences with respect to the proper formation of a mobile app production company. You may even decide that you want a holding company to hold the intangible assets of the intellectual property of the mobile app, to shield them from legal proceedings. An experienced mobile app attorney will be able to assist you with these and numerous other related legal issues.
Tax Issues for Mobile App Development Companies
There are important tax issues that arise from mobile app development. Many entrepreneurs consult with legal counsel to obtain legal advice on proper legal structure of their new company, to avoid unintended tax consequences. Every mobile app developer spends money on development work, creative services, outsourced software development, or other tasks. Who will take a tax deduction for these expenses? If these are paid by the individual and not the company, then the proper documentation will need to be prepared transferring these obligations and expenses to the Company, along with proper accounting. In this same vein, it is important that an EIN number be obtained from the IRS before the app is presented for distribution so that income accruing from sales of the app is taxed to the entity (for which deductions can be offset) and not the individual founders themselves.
Intellectual Property Issues with Mobile App Development
One of the cornerstones of mobile app law involves intellectual property. This can range from trademarks protecting the slogan, logo, brand, or other aspect of the good or service being provided by the mobile app; and can also involve copyrights protecting creative works of authorship relating to the app. The name you have picked for your company and your app may be catchy… but have you had your legal counsel run a trademark search to see if there are other companies already using the name? If not, you may be at risk of receiving legal cease and desist demands requiring that stop what you are doing immediately and change your company’s or app’s name; turn over your website, turn over all of your intellectual property, and immediately hold all business operations. Receiving this type of demand letter can be devastating. No startup wants trademark problems and a legal right right out of the gate. Your legal counsel can conduct a trademark search in as little as 1 hour of time and give you peace of mind.
Unknowingly Leaving IP Rights to the App in the Hands of App Developers
One of the most common issues we see in advising mobile app entrepreneurs and founders involves extricating the intellectual property rights to the app from the hands of app developers, sometimes who are in foreign countries that do not honor the laws of the United States. Many brand-new mobile app entrepreneurs obtain software developmental and other support using services like O-Desk, Freelancer, Craigslist, Fiver, or similar services. The problem is that in these cases, the entrepreneur usually does not own their own code. This can create huge problems for the app. Most app development companies keep ALL rights to the software they write. Unless appropriate contractual arrangements are made with the app developers or developmental team (or even employees or independent contractors), you could unintentionally be leaving the IP rights to your app in another person or entity’s hands. This will make it effectively impossible to protect the intellectual property of the app because it will simply not belong to you.
Dealing With California’s Employment, Wage, and Hour Laws
Dealing with the complicated series of laws that constitute California’s labor and employment laws are the single greatest hurdle and challenge for new entrepreneurs. It is almost impossible to comply with all of California’s labor laws, and the penalties for noncompliance are stiff. For missing one deadline with the California Employment Development Department, the fines for single incident can be several hundreds of dollars. Many Entrepreneurs can find compliance with California’s labor laws to be frustrating, infuriating, and even mind-numbing. Getting experience legal counsel involved can help provide quick answers to a lot of questions that companies face when they begin work on a project, or begin generating revenue in connection with their business.In addition, noncompliance can result in legal liability.If you hire an independent contractor or employee, you are obligated to notify California’s Employment Development Department within a certain amount of time. If you begin hiring employees (which may include yourself if company is organized as a C Corp), you will also need to comply with California’s labyrinthine wage and hour laws, which are a complex series of labor laws that are extremely difficult of comply with. Wage and hour laws are the single greatest legal susceptibility that most new companies face.