According to Copyright Law, the developer owns the code in the very moment it is “fixed in tangible form.” In other words, you own the copyright as soon as you press “Save,” even if you haven’t released anything yet. This is also counts, of course, for the design and creative content that goes on the app. In the vast majority of cases, you will also use the work of others to build your app. You had better make sure you own it, or you might be exposed to third parties’ claims to revenues. This is what the Technology Assignment Agreement is for. It’s a simple contract where someone will assign to you (or to your company, if you are incorporated) the intellectual property of the work.
As with every contract, it needs consideration to be valid. Consideration is simply the value exchanged to have the IP (intellectual property) rights. It’s usually money (any value will do, but symbolic amounts like $1 may be contested), but can also be equity in the company. It can also be a promise, such as a certain percent of future sales or revenues. The important things are the representations and warranties of the person who assigns the copyright. For example this section will state that:
Symphony Solution may change the Terms and Conditions from time to time and at any time, and without actual notice to you. All such changes to these Terms and Conditions will appear on Apps. By using this site after we post any changes, you agree to those changes. If at any time you choose not to accept these Terms and Conditions, please do not use this site.
We respect the intellectual property rights of others, and require that the people who use the TheyMakeApps Site do the same. a. If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please forward the following information to the Copyright Agent named below: