In its 2015 'Review of the Designs System' in Australia, the former Advisory Council on Intellectual Property (ACIP) recommended that amendment of the Statement of Newness and Distinctiveness (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 cannot 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 04-Sept-2017
Issue to be considered in future, but has some complexities that will require time and consultation to work through.