IP Protection in ISV Apps

  • August 2, 2019
  • Owen Hughes

The benefit of launching an app as an ISV is that you potentially open up a huge marketplace for your offering. However, one element very few ISVs pay close enough attention to is ensuring that their technology, especially the core engine parts of their app, has full IP Protection. This is probably because it is often assumed that by launching an app in the Salesforce ecosystem, Salesforce would enforce IP Protection. Salesforce does indeed give IP Protection to some component types but not for all components and without full protection, your app is open to copying.

The usual core engine parts, mentioned above, include component types such as

  • Apex classes,
  • Lightning component bundles,
  • Lightning pages,
  • Visualforce pages and Visualforce components

All of these elements are given full IP Protection by Salesforce except Visualforce pages. The easiest way to achieve protection for these elements is to put most of the Visualforce pages into Visualforce components and simply reference the components from the pages, so this small hole is easy to plug.

However, there are many component types that Salesforce does not provide IP protection for, indeed the majority of component types are not IP protected. For this reason, a competent and trustworthy PDO will consult and advise the ISV and ensure they know the specific components that will be protected and moreover those that are not protected.

What is important with all IP protection is that you seek legal advice to ensure you are fully protected. This can pose the question “what is IP and why do I really need it?”. In the next blog we will be hearing from an IP expert who will answer this question.

To find out more about the impact IP can have and how it affects you contact us