15.2. Statement of newness and distinctiveness: Formalities assessment of the SoND

Date Published

During the formalities assessment we focus on:


  • Inconsistencies: The formalities officer should check the SoND for inconsistencies. For example if the product shown is a mug and the application includes a SoND which indicates that the product is a vehicle, this should be queried.


  • Duplicates: There should only be one SoND for a design. If there is more than one, we will send a query to the applicant asking which is the correct one to use.

If we notify the applicant of any issues with the SoND as a courtesy (rather than as a barrier to registration), we will set a 2-month time frame for the applicant to respond and potentially amend the SoND before the design is registered.


Failure to meet the purpose of a SoND

The purpose of a SoND is to identify particular visual features of a design as new and distinctive. Sometimes the document submitted as the SoND does not actually achieve this purpose – for example, it may:


  • make no sense


  • includes irrelevant and unnecessary detail


  • talk about an invention or a concept


  • contains references to externally published matter. For example an applicant’s website


  • attempt to disclaim features.

If the SoND in the application does not appear to meet the purpose of a SoND, we may send a general notice to the applicant or include the issue in a formalities notice that identifies other issues to address before the design can be registered. This notice can also ask for clarification if we have not received a SoND but there is wording in the application that suggests a SoND has been submitted.

Other Requirements

A SoND must not be included in the representations of a design application. The appropriate place for a SoND is in the separate field of the application form. 

If an application contains a SoND, the representations must show the visual features to which the SoND refers (see Part 6.2).

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Formal Requirements Instrument changes

Minor speling error corrected.