Can you patent a website?

Like inventions that are physical (such as a new design for a pen), a website reflects the effort, thought, and design of the person who creates it. Often, websites are unique and distinct from other websites due to their design, features, or capabilities. Due to the similarities between a website and tangible inventions, one may ask, “can I patent a website?”

The simple answer to this question is that generally, an inventor cannot patent a website in its entirety. However, certain aspects of the website can be patented, and the intellectual property contained within the website can be protected through means other than obtaining a patent.

            Unlike a single physical product, a website makes use of several different elements to present itself, including but not limited to, the internet, a domain, and software used to generate the “text, sounds, images, and video displayed” on the website (1). One aspect of a website that can be patented using a utility patent is that of unique software used for a feature on the website. For example, a software which is used on the website to accept a new type of payment system, such as Amazon’s “One Click Checkout” could be patented if it is satisfies the requirements of a normal patent (useful, unique, and non-obvious). (1).

            In addition to a single useful feature of the website, the entirety of the website can be patented in rare circumstances through the use of a design patent. Unlike a utility patent, a design patent would protect the unique aesthetic nature of the website. Importantly, an inventor would only be able to obtain such a design patent if the aesthetic design of the website can be proven unique.

            A litmus test that inventors can use to determine whether a certain aspect of their website is patentable is to write down features (which would be claims in a patent application) that distinguish features of their websites from other existing websites. These features could be described, diagramed, or drawn to demonstrate their unique characteristics. In addition to being distinct, an inventor must show that the features of the website merit protection by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

            Other means by which an inventor can secure their intellectual property rights, with respect to their website, include trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. (1). First, a trademark can be used to protect the website brand, such as “Amazon” from being used by other websites. Second, a copyright can be used to protect any of the creative portions of the website including graphics or designs. Lastly, an inventor could maintain confidentiality of certain features, such as backend software, by not disclosing the design of those features to third parties through non-disclosure agreements. However, this protection is only as good as the inventor’s ability to keep that secret concealed from third parties, which is challenging given the nature of the internet.



If you are a startup, small business, or a solo-inventor looking for a high quality & affordable patent or trademark, you've found the right place. Miller IP Law offers transparent and affordable options specifically designed for your business goals. Grab a strategy meeting to kick things off!

About the Firm...

Miller IP Law is a firm that focuses on small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs/solopreneurs. We’re easy to use. We offer affordable pricing that’s transparent and flat-rate. We focus on the little guys who actually need our help. If you’d like an attorney on your team, simply schedule a Zoom call, and we’ll take care of the rest.

Top Blog Articles

1. Cheapest Way To Get A Patent

2. How Long Does It Take To Get A Trademark?

3. Why Are Patents Important?

Miller IP Law

Want to chat more about this topic, or got a burning question? Take advantage of instant chat and send us a direct message


Miller IP Law

Find Us On LinkedIn

About Our Firm…

Miller IP Law is a group of attorney's, based out of Mountain Green, Utah, who are excited to help you build your business and further innovate market places and economies. Please consider looking at our services, billed at flat rate, and be sure to grab a free strategy session to meet with us!

Start Your Journey



Get weekly stories and information about protecting intellectual property with our e-mail Newsletter today!

Need To Get In Touch With Us?➡

Schedule A Free Strategy Session Today…

Miller IP Law

Flat Fee Pricing

Straightforward for Patents and Trademarks

Miller IP Law

Patent Application

Miller IP Law

Trademark Application

Miller IP Law

Copyright Application

← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment


Navigating Open-Source Technologies and Patent Considerations for Your Startup or Side Hustle - Miller IP

Navigating Open-Source Technologies and Patent Considerations for Your Startup or Side Hustle

Welcome to our blog on open-source technologies and patent considerations for entrepreneurs looking to protect their inventions and foster innovation within their startups or side...

Read more
Unlocking Success: The Latest Trends in Patent Law for Startups - Miller IP

Unlocking Success: The Latest Trends in Patent Law for Startups

As the entrepreneurial landscape continues to evolve, startups are increasingly turning to innovation to carve their niche in the market. From ambitious tech ventures to...

Read more