A statement of newness and distinctiveness can be included at the application stage. A statement can’t be amended once the design is registered.
Why write a statement of newness and distinctiveness
For a design to be certified, the examiner must be convinced that it's not substantially similar in overall impression to another design.
Including a statement of newness and distinctiveness can identify particular visual features of the design as new and distinctive. As the examiner must have particular regard to the features identified in the statement, including a statement can help convince them the design is not substantially similar to another design.
Including a statement is not mandatory. If it's not included, the examiner must consider the appearance of the design as a whole when assessing if the design is substantially similar to another design.
How to write a statement of newness and distinctiveness
The statement identifies particular features of the design and so should be consistent with the illustrations of the design.
When writing the statement, ask yourself:
- what features of the design are new and distinctive?
- to what features of the design should I draw the examiner’s attention?
- are there new and distinctive features that would benefit from a written explanation?
The following is a good example of a statement of distinctiveness, taken from a design for a wheelchair track. Note that particular features of the design are identified as being new and distinctive.
'(Newness and distinctiveness) lies in the front portion of the wheel chair track.'