This is not legal advice, but we can point you to some links for additional information. If you want some additional assistance for your specific case, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org/(618) 453-4556.
A possible scenario might be to copyright your software code, trademark your app name, and keep trade secrets. Read about the different types of intellectual property protection for software:
- Read about copyrights, FAQs, Wikipedia: to protect your images, text and code (computer programs are defined as literary works in the Copyright Act).
- Read about trademarks: to protect your app name.
- Read about trade secrets: trade secrets are what you never tell anyone, protect from leaving the building, and otherwise protect under non-disclosure agreements, e.g. specifics about how your invention works.
- Read about patenting software: patents for software are controversial and difficult to get; however in some cases, getting a patent might be possible (especially if you have lots of dough).
You also want to make sure that your idea is unique, and that you don't copy someone else's work without permission.
- Do a knock-out search to ensure you won't infringe someone else's existing intellectual property. (Note: this knock-out search relates to searching for patents, but it can be adapted to work for copyright as well.)
- If you integrate open-source code in your app, be sure to read the license agreement and make sure you have the right to use it freely.
Here are some additional links to information about apps and protecting your APP for you to read up on (for informational purposes only):
- Article about copyright and trademark for apps on Legalzoom.com: Protecting and Selling Your Mobile Application
- How To Protect Your Mobile App Idea: Non-disclosure agreements and other best practices for protecting mobile apps
- This is mostly about security issues (protecting from cyber attacks through apps), but can probably serve as a kind of 'best practices': SANS - Protecting Your Web Apps Two Big Mistakes and 12 Practical Tips to Avoid Them