What does it mean if a mobile app's use of encryption is "Limited to intellectual property and copyright protection"? Does that mean it doesn't contain any encryption that is patentable?

  • 1
    This almost certainly needs more information about the context to answer. Right now there's not much more that can be said beyond the literal meaning of those words.
    – Ryan M
    Jan 23, 2021 at 8:17
  • @Ryan I've added context for ya
    – Eric33187
    Jan 23, 2021 at 9:05
  • 3
    Still really have to guess here, but it probably means that the app doesn't have any encryption for security purposes.
    – Ryan M
    Jan 23, 2021 at 9:18
  • Can you say which app this is? Jan 23, 2021 at 11:21
  • I would suspect it means that the app is not designed to use encryption to protect or sign messages. That might change what government license it needed, depending on the government. Jan 23, 2021 at 16:44

1 Answer 1


What it probably means from a technical perspective is that things made with the app are given an identifying tag that can be used to determine the source of what is made with the app, much like the source ID text that follows a URL copied from lots of media websites.

This source ID could be used to show that the source of the material produced by the app was produced by that app by a particular user, so that if the app user was infringing a copyright or other intellectual property, copies derived from the infringing use could be determined.

Also, while this is the stated purpose, usually tags like that are actually primarily use to facility "smart ads" in an Internet advertising system.

The limitation means that the security protocols used by the app don't encrypt the content in a manner that prevents someone else with even minimal IT skills from decoding the content and that the security isn't meant for that purpose.

  • I expect it's more copy protection (DRM) than necessarily tagging. Encryption wouldn't be useful for inherently identify the source in any way, from a technical perspective.
    – Ryan M
    Jan 26, 2021 at 0:10

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