How to Get a Patent on a Website Idea

By Steve Aycock

A utility patent, which is the most common type of patent, covers the functional aspects of an invention. To be patentable, an invention must be useful, new and non-obvious. To be useful, the invention must have some kind of use or function. To be considered new, the website must not have been invented before and must not have been made public for more than a year. Non-obvious means that the website is not an obvious combination or extension of other known websites. To get a patent, you’ll need to file a patent application and pay the appropriate fees to the Patent Office. You’ll also need to promptly answer any correspondence from the Patent Office.

Step 1

Prepare diagrams and drawings of your website. There are three areas to be considered for drawings and diagrams: the user interface itself, the process by which the software generates the user interface and the administrative or “back office” screens and software process used to maintain the website. Types of diagrams suitable for website patent applications include screen drawings, system diagrams, database diagrams and flow charts.

Step 2

Write one or more claims for your website invention. Because a website is a computer software related invention, be careful when drafting claims because the patent laws and rules change frequently regarding software inventions. Consult an up-to-date reference on software claims drafting or hire a patent attorney who is familiar with software claims drafting.

File a provisional application for patent online. Get Started Now

Step 3

Write a written description of your website. Using the drawings you created, describe each drawing and each element within the drawing. Focus on your key features. There are a few required sections of a written description, which are the Brief Description of the Drawings, the Detailed Description, Claims and Abstract. The claims and abstract sections must each start on a separate page. The written description and drawings are your patent application.

Step 4

Convert your drawings and written description to PDF format. The online filing system at the Patent Office requires documents in PDF format.

Step 5

File your patent application with the Patent Office. You can file online using forms provided on the Patent Office website. When filing, pay the appropriate filing fees during the online application process. Without the correct fees, the Patent Office will not examine your application.

Step 6

Reply to Patent Office correspondence. You’ll typically have a short time frame in which to respond, ranging from one month to six months.

File a provisional application for patent online. Get Started Now
How to Receive a Patent on a Board Game

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Trademark a Catchphrase

A catchphrase is a slogan or tagline that identifies a person, group or business. Often introduced into pop culture by a memorable line spoken in film or on television, a catchphrase is “catchy” because the association with a product, service or personality is indelible. It’s a unique signature – as long as no one else has used it previously. Although your catchphrase is protected as soon as you begin using it for business, registering offers additional protection.

How Do I Patent My Idea?

A patent protects an inventor's right to produce the product he invented, preventing others from selling or using the product. Federal law provides patents as a way to encourage innovation by giving inventors ownership over their own ideas. Since patents can only be granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, you must apply through that office before you can receive your patent.

Can You Get a Patent for an Idea?

You cannot patent an idea alone. If you develop the specifics of your idea, however, you might be able to patent it. A patent grants you a temporary legal monopoly on the right to use and profit from your invention. You may sell your patent outright or simply license the use of your invention. After your patent expires, anyone may use and profit from your invention.

Start here. LegalZoom. Legal help is here. LLCs. Corporations. Patents. Attorney help.

Related articles

How to Patent a Toy Idea

It is impossible to patent a mere idea -- you must first reduce it to tangible form. To be eligible for a patent, your ...

How to Amend a Patent

When inventors talk about amending a patent, they usually mean amending a patent application. Amendments of patent ...

How to Acquire a Patent

A patent is a legalized monopoly in favor of the patent holder. The patent holder owns the exclusive right to use, ...

How to Fill Out a Provisional Patent Application

Filing a provisional patent application allows you to establish temporary patent protection without starting the patent ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED