Allow amendment of the Statement of Newness and Distinctiveness (SoND) up to the point of certification

At a glance

Policy ID: 40

Status: Consultation

Priority: Low

Design rights ACIP

Issue summary

In its 2015 'Review of the Designs System' in Australia, the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) recommended that amendment of the SoND should be permitted up to the point of certification.

The Designs Act 2003 allows applicants to submit an optional SoND which identifies visual features of the design that are new and distinctive.

During ACIP's review there was concern that SoNDs cannot be effectively amended after registration. In particular, they can't be amended when new prior art is identified in the course of examination.

The Australian Government accepted the recommendation in principle in May 2016 but indicated that further consultation would be necessary to avoid unintended consequences.


  • On hold 4 September 2017
  • Consultation 13 June 2023


IP Australia is consulting on proposed changes to Australia’s designs system for a more modern and accessible design rights system that drives innovation and delivers greater benefits to the Australian economy. 

The consultation includes consideration of partial designs — the protection of only part of a product made in one piece. 

As part of that proposal, we're consulting on whether SoNDs should be discontinued, due to a lack of need for them if partial designs are available. 

Find out more about the consultation and have your say at

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