I searched around but couldn't find something here quite like this and wanted to get some feedback on this TM issue.
I am interested in registering a Mark for a product. This Mark was once registered but has been expired since 1995 and is listed in TESS as "Dead."
Company "A" registered the mark in the mid 1970's, but during its then 20-year renewal period Company "A" was sold to Company "B." The Mark was not sold and remained listed under Company "A" but Company "A" soon ceased to exist. Company "B" continued to use the mark and to make the product, they never registered or renewed the mark.
Sometime shortly after 2000, Company "B" sold the item to "Company C" who also continued to use the now expired mark and to make the product.
A few more years passed and Company "C" sold the item to Company "D" which was a non-US-based company who continued to use the Dead mark and make the product. Company "D" has now discontinued this product within the last 6 months with a stated intent to never make it again.
To be clear, companies B, C and D never registered the mark nor were listed as its owner, they just made and sold the product under the name (for all these companies, this product was a fringe item, they had many and much bigger items, all three companies still exist (only Company "A", the registrant of the mark is gone)).
Would I be able apply to register the mark and make a very similar or duplicate product? Or is there any possible claim left on this that I should be aware of? (there is no patent involved, just the 22yr old dead trademark for the name.)