Let's assume that your website has a unique design appealing the users and meeting the requirements for promoting products and/or services efficiently. You faced the task to protect your website rights.
In order to protect your website rights, first of all, you have to select the intellectual property items making your website unique:
1) Author's texts. Probably that you or your employees are the authors of the texts on the website. And, certainly, you do not want your competitors to copy your texts.
Texts can be classified as literary works and, therefore, are fully subject to copyright rules. According to the regulatory documents, literary copyright arises from the moment of creation and does not require mandatory registration.
The only thing you should do to protect your text rights is to fix the date when the texts are published on the website. Additionally, at the discretion of the authors, the texts can be deposited in authors societies.
2) The software products enabling the "chips" to function on your website (cost calculator, feedback window, etc.).
The software products can be registered with Rospatent. As a result of the registration, you will receive a certificate containing the information about the software product name and owner, its authors, and the registration date.
This certificate may be required for selling the software product or issuing licenses for its use, as well as for obtaining various permits from government authorities. And finally, the software product can be used as an intangible asset for tax optimization.
3) Design of website pages. If the design of website pages is unique, you can register your rights by obtaining a patent for an industrial design. Several pages of the website can be protected.
What elements of the website design are protected by the industrial design?
- Graphical design of website elements: their color composition, geometrical arrangement.
- Legend lettering: type, size and color.
An industrial design patent certifies the exclusive rights in the design, i.e. it prohibits other companies to use the website design without your consent.
In our country, the patent is issued after the patent examination, checking the design for novelty and originality, so the patent is the reliable protection against possible claims for infringement of third-party rights.
It is important to mention that the patent can be sold, it can be transferred for use (issue licenses), or it can be provided as collateral.
A patent not only reserves your rights in an industrial design, but can also be used as an intangible asset (useful for tax optimization).
4) Company logo. If your website contains advertising slogans developed by marketers, or a company logo, then it is advisable to register them as trademarks.
A trademark protects not only graphic elements and original fonts, but also the semantics (meaning) of words and phrases.
The trademark is valid for 10 years with the option to extend for the same period.
Like a patent for an industrial design, a trademark certificate certifies the exclusive right in words, phrases and graphics.
So, in order to protect the unique design of the website, you should take care of 4 main elements: texts, software, website page design, and company logo.