That means the party did not renewal it by paying required fee. They may still own the rights though, by usage.
So would that mean I could reg it now?..
Thats hard to say without knowing more info. The party might be using it for sufficient time that it owns the TM automatically by widespread use of the TM.
You will have to do further research into how popular it is. On the other hand, if you have no intentions of using the domain name for the same products/services as the original TM, you should be safe, imo.
Could I pm a lawyer here on np and ask about the specific name I'm talking about...it is a "word" but also a "term" widely used accross the net..
This is not accurate. As SOON as a the party begins to use a mark in trade, they automatically own the TM. There is no requirement of time or popularity. Once they started actively marketing under the mark, the TM is theirs by common law. Trademarks do NOT have to be registered to be valid. Registration simply makes things easier and gives additional protection to the registration holder.
Trade marks apply only to specific areas of trade. Ex: A trade association of apple orchard owners could not sue Apple Computers for apple.com, just as, had the trade association registered apple.com back in the day, Apple Computers couldn't sue them because neither company would be using the domain illegally (unless of course the orchard owners decided to start selling computers)...
If you would like more specific advice, feel free to PM me some more specific details. I am not a lawyer, but I would be more than happy to offer some more in depth advice..
And what if besides being "DEAD" it also says "ABANDONED" ?
Can I just ask where you have been searching for these registered trademarks, as I am thinking of protecting a few of my sites and would like to look into protecting their names..
It's one thing to have a common law TM, but I think when you venture into the realm of official registration and allow that registration to lapse or abandon it, you're looking at some possible serious challenges to your rights. You have an obligation to protect your mark and if you don't, you run the risk of losing it. I'd definitely consult a lawyer to find out some more information about this situation, because I don't think it's as cut and dry as a normal TM situation...
Dead or abandoned just means with the TM office as a "registered" TM. Do some checking to see if the company still exists. If they still exist, do they still market the product or use the name? If the TM is still in use by them, someone who puchased their assets, a successor company, or anyone else, it may still be a valid but unregistered TM. It might be fair game, but the TM office filings are only clues, not definitive answers...