Is it possible to get a patent for a new Web Browser 'Button'?

I don't have knowledge about patents and I don't know if this new thing really fits to this thread.

Basically I was thinking for example about the standard 'Refresh Button' that every browser has.

My vision is to integrate in every browser a new 'Button' and make it a standard just like the 'Refresh button'.

This new 'Button' that I'm talking has a very specific and unique function .. very useful for internet users .. just conceptualize it as a new button near the refresh button that could be very useful for billions of internet users.

Is this new thing patentable? How can I get the rights for this? Or at least a license or something that have to do with the rights?

I know that I can make an extension to let people using this.. but I want to go more far than a simple browser extension.

Can somebody help me or suggest me where to look or am I in a wrong direction?

2 Answers 2


This is not answereable without knowing exactly what you are thinking about, so a patent attorney might be the way to go.

But there a few things to consider beforehand - software by itself is (almost) unpatentable. So apart from copyright, protecting it could be hard.

There's still some stuff going on concerning this topic, but the best way to get software patented is going for the physical dependencies. Means: If your button blows up the computer in a novel and inventive way, thats patentable. If it sends a signal to a website making it refresh ... well ... maybe. Probably not though as the fact that software has to have some kind of implementation doesn't suffice.

So, if your button is just a button - thats a tough nut. If it turns on your mircrowave - go talk to somebody who has the experience with this to formulate your claims in a patentable manner.

  • 1
    "The refresh button as such would not get a patent" - I think I would disagree. It's not abstract (in the sense of being a business method or something) and has a real effect (that is, re-retrieving the relevant resources across a network). It might not be the easiest invention, but I would expect it to be patent eligible (ignoring all the prior art, of course).
    – Maca
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 2:46
  • Hm. You might be right. I'll see to editing my answer later.
    – user18033
    Commented Dec 6, 2016 at 6:27
  • If there is something special about the appearance of the button, a design patent might be appropriate.
    – Eric S
    Commented May 6, 2017 at 15:26

If the assertion "This new 'Button' that im talking has a very specific and unique function .. very useful for internet users .. just conceptualize it as a new button near the refresh button that could be very useful for billions of internet users." has real substance and not 'my baby is the cutest' hype than in the light of CAFC judgement in 'BASCOM' and also 'Alice' (US Supreme Court judgement) it may be patent eligible (i.e. may survive the zica for software patents namely 35 USC 101 rejection being directed to a judicial exception, an abstract etc) subject to being found patentable under 102, 103 scrutiny.

Since browsing action is generally accomplished by using computer or like machines, it is possible to draft craftily for passing what is called 'machine test'.

Best course of action is i) carry out a preliminary search in USPTO, WIPO, ESPACENET data base ii) if prior art hurdles are not standing on the way iii) assess financial affordability of self iv) if feasible (always advisable) consult and engage a patent attorney v) if not possible give it a try yourself: one who can be pioneer in a tech field can also re-discover the art of patent drafting and patent application filing. After all why to fall without a fight.

  • I edited the format of your answer because it was almost unreadable. Please don't use tab's at the beginning of a paragraph, it apparently stops line breaks
    – user18033
    Commented May 16, 2017 at 18:37
  • The "machine test", by which I presume you mean the "machine or transformation test" is quite outdated. It was expressly downgraded to a mere useful clue by Bilski v Kappos, and was probably deprived of any value by Alice v CLS.
    – Maca
    Commented May 16, 2017 at 23:18
  • Yes. You are very correct on both counts. I mentioned the said test for strengthening 'industrial applicability' requirement even though feeble after case laws you cited. Commented May 18, 2017 at 2:55

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