What is Formality Check Fail Trademark Status and What to Do Next?

Published On: Jul 11, 2019Last Updated: Apr 5, 20247.4 min read


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 registration. There are some stages where the trademark registry raises issues. You have to address those issues. The trademark registry does not move forward with the trademark application until you address all the discrepancies. This blog discusses the meaning of ‘formality chk fail’ in trademark registration and key actions to get the status of formalities chk pass. This article discusses the status of Formality Chk Fail and Formalities Chk Pass in trademark.

Major Stages of TM registration:

The major stages included in the trademark registration process are: 

Preliminary evaluation

  • Send to Vienna Codification: Applicable to brands with logos, labels, or artwork, this stage requires no action from the applicant.
  • Formalities Check Pass or Formalities chk pass in Trademark: Formalities chk pass in Trademark indicates that the application meets the formal requirements. That is, it had error-free information.
  • Formalities Check Fail or Formalities chk fail in Trademark: If the application does not comply with necessary rules, there might be errors or omissions. This necessitates corrective action. Once errors are corrected, Formalities Check Fail applications move to the status of Formalities Check Pass or Formalities Chk Pass in Trademark.
  • Marked for Exam: Signifies that the application aligns with trademark guidelines. Hence it can then progress to the examination stage where the registry checks for technical errors.

Post Examination

  • Examination Report Issued: The registry issues a report highlighting objections related to the structure and form of the trademark. This requires a justifiable response.
  • Objected: Indicates a trademark objection, compelling the applicant to address it within a specified timeframe.
  • Accepted: Implies no office objection, allowing the application to move to publication in the trademarks journal.


  • Adv. (advertised) Before Accepted: The application is open to opposition for four months; if unopposed, it moves towards acceptance and advertisement.
  • Accepted and Advertised: Marks the pre-final stage before registration, requiring no action from the applicant.
  • Ready for Show Cause Hearing: Indicates an unsatisfactory response to the examination report, leading to a hearing where the applicant presents their case.
  • Registered: Trademark registration is official. The applicant receives the registration certificate.
  • Opposed: During the open period in the trademark journal, a third party can oppose the application.
  • Abandoned: Signifies that the applicant has stopped pursuing the trademark application, often due to delayed responses.
  • Withdrawn: Reflects voluntary withdrawal of the trademark application, and once withdrawn, restoration is not possible.
  • Removed: Occurs when the applicant fails to comply with registry requirements, such as missing the renewal deadline.

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. If the trademark officer finds any discrepancy, they will update the application to ‘formality check fail’. Failure to file a response to the formalities check fail report within the prescribed period can result in the rejection of the application. Hence, the applicant needs to check the status of the trademark application at regular intervals. The trademark application cannot progress in the trademark registration process until the status changes to formalities check pass in Trademark.

Reasons for ‘Formality Check Fail’ in India?

The following are the reasons for formality check fail in India:

1. Incorrect details of the Applicant:

When filing the application, one must choose the category under which to file it. These categories are divided into four parts. They are:

  • Individual
  • Startup
  • Small Enterprise
  • Others

If you do not select the proper category, the trademark application may fail the formalities check. For instance, when filing a trademark application as a sole proprietor, one must choose the category ‘Individual’. Further, in the fields related to proprietor details, one has to enter the details such as the name of the individual and the name of the 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 the 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. You need to select the appropriate class for the specific product at the time of filing an application.

3. Incorrect goods or service description: 

There can be a delay in the timeline for Trademark Registration Process if, 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: 

There can also be a delay if you do not file all the documents properly. Documents required for Trademark registration include putting up an application with important documents such as the power of attorney, affidavits and proofs for claiming user date and supporting documents such as MSME certificate or DIPP certificate for claiming a rebate on application fees.

Uploaded documents can also get corrupted and become inaccessible. 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: 

You must properly fill all the information in the application. 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. You also need to properly describe the image of the logo in the Trademark application.

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.

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What is Formalities chk pass meaning in Trademark?

After getting the formality check fail status, you have to file a response if you want your Trademark registration process to proceed further. With that reply, you have to correct all the inconsistencies that the TM office had pointed out. Once you correct all these, you get to the ‘trademark formalities chk pass’ status. So, the formalities chk pass meaning in trademark is basically that your application now does not have any inconsistencies or mistakes.

How to Get Status of Formalities chk pass in Trademark?

As mentioned earlier, the trademark registry issues 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. 

Process of filing a response to get to trademark formalities chk pass:

One has to file a formality check response to get to formalities chk pass trademark status. They can do it from the tab ‘Miscellaneous Reply’ by selecting ‘Reply to Formality check (MIS-F)’. Ensure to enter the correct application number. Additionally, the application will mention if you have to correct the mistake by filing a form ‘TM-M’ to get to the status of formalities chk pass in trademark.

Once the trademark registry is satisfied with the reply, they process the application for the next status. That is, to trademark status formalities chk pass. If the reply is not satisfactory then the trademark registry will block your application from getting to the status of formalities chk pass in trademark. They may again mark the status as ‘Formalities Check Fail’. Then they will also issue another check fail report to the applicant for making corrections to the trademark application. Hence, the trademark application only moves forward and gets to enjoy the status of ‘ trademark 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 proceed smoothly the trademark must be filed through professionals. While it is simple to file the reply for the formalities check fail, it is best to get an attorney to file it. After you get to the trademark status formalities chk pass, getting your Trademark registered is fairly easy, you can soon start to avail the benefits of Trademark registration.

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CS Shivani Vyas
About the Author

CS Shivani Vyas

Shivani is a Company Secretary at Legalwiz.in with an endowment towards content writing. She has proficiency in the stream of Company Law and IPR. In addition to that she holds degree of bachelors of Law and Masters of commerce.