Last updated: 
6 October 2020

A Statement of Newness and Distinctiveness (SoND) is an optional statement that highlights the new and distinctive visual features of a design.

A SoND is not mandatory

Many applications do not include a SoND. In this situation, we will consider newness and distinctiveness in relation to the visual features of the entire design.

If you wish to provide a SoND

A registered design can only be certified if it is 'new' and 'distinctive' when compared to other designs that form part of the 'prior art base'.

  • 'New' means your design is not identical to an earlier design published worldwide.
  • 'Distinctive' means your design is visually unique compared to other designs published worldwide.
  • 'Prior art base' means designs that have been shared publicly anywhere in the world.

If you do provide a SoND, we look at this when assessing if your design is new and distinctive as part of the examination process. During this assessment, we give attention to the visual features you have highlighted. However, we do not ignore the other material in your design.

It can be tricky to get a SoND right. If you have any questions about providing a SoND, you can contact us before you apply.

General considerations

A SoND:

  • Generally cannot be amended or deleted once your design is registered
  • can only be used to highlight new and distinctive visual features of your design. It should not highlight how your product works or will be used
  • cannot exclude features of your product. Each design is considered in the context of the whole product it is applied to
  • may inadvertently narrow the scope of your design

SoND and representations

Representations are illustrations, digital images or photographs of your design. They are an important part of your application as they show the visual features of your design to others.

Your SoND and representations can work together to highlight the new and distinctive features of your design. They can use solid and dotted/dashed lines to do this.

  • Solid lines can be used to highlight new and distinctive elements of your design.
  • Dotted/dashed lines show the visual features of the entire product the design is applied to.

The SoND provided for design right 201414889 is an example of how this can be done.

SoND: The shape and configuration of the product as shown by solid lines in the accompanying representations is new and distinctive.