Are Dead Trademarks a Problem? | Trademark Factory® FAQ. Are Dead Trademarks a Problem?
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And the answer to this question is most likely no.
A dead trademark is a trademark that once was registered or once was applied for, but then it was abandoned or cancelled by the Trademarks Office. So the Trademarks Office won't cite that trademark if you file a trademark application that is even identical to that other dead trademark.
The only risk is that the company that used to have that trademark is still in business, they’re still using that brand and they would have what’s called a common-law right to go after you if you decide to take that brand away from them. The likelihood of that is very small. Basically, the idea is this: if they didn't bother to protect their brand from being cancelled or being abandoned, it's very unlikely that they are going to spend a lot more more money to oppose your trademark after the Trademarks Office approves it. Because again, the Trademarks Office is going disregard the dead mark, and they are going to approve your mark. They are going to publish it for the opposition and really the only way for the owner of the dead trademark to go after you would be through the opposition proceedings or in court. And it is very unlikely that somebody who didn't want to spend just a little bit of money to take their trademarks from dead to live, will go after you and spend 10 times, 50 or 100 times more money, to accomplish pretty much the same task. But this can happen.
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