The process of trademark registration does not end with the filing of a trademark application at the trademark registry. A trademark application goes through many stages before it gets registered. There are some stages where the trademark registry raises an issue which needs to be addressed. Until all the discrepancies are addressed, the trademark registry will not move forward with the trademark application. This blog discusses the meaning of ‘formality chk* fail’ and key actions to get the status of formalities chk pass.
If a response to formalities chk fail report is not filed within the prescribed period then the application can get rejected. Hence, the applicant needs to check the status of the trademark application at the regular interval. The trademark application may not move forward in the trademark registration process until the status of the same is changed to formalities chk pass.
The major stages included in the trademark registration process are listed:
- Send to Vienna Codification
- Formalities Chk Pass/ Fail
- Marked for Examination
- Objected/ Accepted
This article discusses the status of ‘Formality Chk Fail’ or ‘Formality Check Fail’ of a trademark application.
What is meant by ‘Formality Check Fail’?
The trademark status ‘Formality Check’ means that the registrar has scrutinized the trademark application for clerical errors, and incomplete documents. In case, any discrepancy is found, the trademark officer examining the trademark application will update the status of the trademark application to ‘formality check fail’. Following are the reasons for formality check fail in India:
1. Incorrect details of the Applicant
While filing the application one has to select the category under which the application is to be filed. The categories are divided into four parts which are;
- Small Enterprise
Hence, if the proper category is not selected then the trademark application may fail for formalities check. For example, during trademark application filing, if the trademark application is filed as a sole proprietor then, one has to select the category as ‘Individual’. Further, in the fields related to proprietor details, one has to enter the details such as the name of individual and the name of sole proprietorship in this format “ABC trading as XYZ house”. Where ‘ABC’ is the name of any individual and ‘XYZ house’ is the name of a firm. Therefore, such errors can be avoided, if the trademark application is filed carefully. The trademark application will move forward in case the status of trademark application is formalities chk pass.
2. Mismatch of product and chosen trademark class:
On the basis of NICE Classification, the trademark registry has divided the goods and services into 45 classes. The appropriate class for the specific product needs to be selected at the time of filing an application.
3. Incorrect goods or service description:
In the trademark application, the description of goods or services in which the applicant is dealing is to be provided. The description must be in line with the NICE classification of goods and services. When the selected class and its corresponding description do not match, the trademark registry may request the applicant to amend the trademark application.
4. Incomplete documents:
The timeline for Trademark Registration Process can further get delayed if all the documents are not submitted properly at the time of filing a trademark application. This includes putting up an application with important documents such as the power of attorney, affidavits and proofs for claiming user date, supporting documents such as MSME certificate or DIPP certificate for claiming a rebate on application fees.
It might happen that the uploaded documents are corrupted and the examiner is unable to open and view them. In such cases, the examiner marks the trademark application as formalities chk fail and requests the applicant to resend the supporting documents.
5. Improper Information:
All the information in the application must be filled properly as required. For example, the translation and transliteration must be provided if the brand name is in a language other than English or Hindi. The name and address of the applicant should match with the power of attorney submitted along with the trademark application. The user date mentioned in the application should match the supporting documents submitted for the same. Description of the image used as logo should be well defined in the trademark application in the relevant fields.
6. Brand name and logo are different:
If the logo and the brand name are different from each other and the words mentioned in the logo do not match with the words or combination of letters used in the trademark, then the registry marks the status as ‘Formality check fail’. Hence, both the logo and the brand must correlate with each other.
Take Action to Get the Status of ‘Formalities Chk Pass’
The trademark registry will issue a notice for formality check fail consisting of the list of issues in the trademark application. The applicant has to file the reply within 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice. Trademark Registry will mark the application as Abandoned if no response is filed within the stipulated time period.
How to file a response to formality check fail? One can file the formality check response from the tab ‘Miscellaneous Reply’ by selecting ‘Reply to Formality check (MIS-F)’ and entering the correct application number. If the applicant is required to correct the mistake by filing a form ‘TM-M’ then it will be mentioned in the formalities check fail report.
If the trademark registry is satisfied with the reply, then it will process the application for the next stage. If the reply is not satisfactory then the trademark registry may again mark the status as ‘Formalities Check Fail’ and issue another check fail report to the applicant for making corrections to the trademark application. The trademark application moves forward and gets to enjoy the status of ‘formalities chk pass’ when all the discrepancies are resolved.
One can avoid this stage by filling in the correct information in an online trademark application. Hence, to process smoothly the trademark must be filed through professionals. It is simple to file the reply for the formalities check fail by clearing the issues raised by the Trademark Registry.
Does your Trademark status show Formalities Check Fail?
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*The acronym ‘chk’ used in the blog should be interpreted as ‘check’