Can a Mobile App Be Copyrighted?

Patrick Burnett

In today’s digital age, mobile applications have become an essential part of our lives. From playing games to ordering food, there is a mobile app for almost everything. With the increasing popularity of mobile apps, the question that arises is whether a mobile app can be copyrighted or not?

What is Copyright?

The copyright law gives the creator of an original work exclusive rights to use and distribute their work. Copyright protection covers various forms of creative expression, including literature, music, film, and software.

Can a Mobile App be Copyrighted?

Yes, a mobile app can be copyrighted. In fact, copyright protection is automatically granted to the creator of a mobile app as soon as they create it. This means that the moment you create your mobile app, it is protected under copyright law.

However, to enforce your copyright in court and prevent others from using your work without permission, you must first register your copyright with the United States Copyright Office.

What Parts of a Mobile App are Protected by Copyright Law?

Various parts of a mobile app are protected by copyright law. These include:

  • The code used to develop the app
  • The graphics used in the app
  • The text used in the app
  • The music and sound effects used in the app
  • The overall design and arrangement of elements within the app

What are Some Examples of Mobile Apps that have been Copyrighted?

There are many popular mobile apps that have been copyrighted. For instance:

1. Instagram:

Instagram has registered copyrights for its source code and user interface.

2. Snapchat:

Snapchat has registered copyrights for its source code.

3. Candy Crush Saga:

Candy Crush Saga has registered copyrights for its game mechanics.

What are the Benefits of Copyrighting a Mobile App?

There are several benefits to copyrighting a mobile app, including:

  • Protection against unauthorized copying and distribution of your app
  • The ability to license your app to others for a fee
  • The ability to sue anyone who infringes on your copyright
  • Increased credibility and marketability of your app


In conclusion, mobile apps can be copyrighted just like any other creative work. The developer of a mobile app automatically receives copyright protection as soon as they create their app.

However, in order to enforce their rights in court, they must first register their copyright with the United States Copyright Office. By doing so, developers can protect their intellectual property and reap the benefits that come with owning exclusive rights to their work.