What is a formalities notice?
You'll receive a formalities notice if there are problems with your design application during the registration step. A formalities notice will:
- Outline issues with your application
- Tell you how to address these issues.
Issues raised at this stage are usually easy to overcome. A formalities notice doesn't mean your application has been rejected.
Common issues raised in a formalities notice
If this is the case, we'll tell you what needs to be provided. To overcome this issue, simply provide the missing information.
At this stage, we need to be able to classify your design into a Locarno class. If you're advised that the product name is unclear, we need you to clarify the exact nature of your design. Usually, you can overcome this issue by requesting to update your product name.
Sometimes it isn't clear from your application and the representations you've provided if you're applying for one design or many designs.
In these cases, we ask you to choose one of these options:
- If you only intended to file one design, you can update your representations to ensure they're consistent. There are no extra fees for this
- You can withdraw all but the one design you wish to proceed with. There are no extra fees for this
- You can proceed with each further design as a separate application. Each new application is known as an ‘excluded design’ and attracts a fee
- If the designs can be categorised in the same Locarno class, you can convert this application into a ‘more than one design’ application. There's a fee for this.
What to do if you receive a formalities notice
1. Read the formalities notice carefully to understand the issues raised, and how to overcome them.
2. Respond as soon as possible. You have only two months to submit changes and get them reviewed, otherwise your application will lapse. This period includes time for your designs officer to consider your corrections, and follow up if required. Under limited circumstances, the two-month time frame can be extended for a fee.
3. If you've got questions, contact the person who assessed your application. Their name and contact details will be provided on the notice.
NOTE: In the case where a company has submitted your application, we can only speak with an authorised person, so be sure the right person makes the call.
4. Submit your changes via online services.
What if I need to make extensive changes to my application?
If you need to make major changes, you'll need to put in an amendment to your application.
Be aware that there are some limitations when it comes to amendments.
- Generally, you can use an amendment to narrow the scope of your protection, such as removing extra designs
- You can't use an amendment to expand the scope of protection. For example, you can't ask for new features to be considered if you didn't show the features in the original application.