10808 posts since 16/11/15
on 15 September 2020
Trademarks have expiration dates, so companies are obligated to renew them if they don't want someone else to be able to make products with the same name. Trademarks can also be expanded to include additional types of products, so that's another reason why a company would file something.
It would mean something if a company didn't re-apply for a trademark, because then they would be content to let someone else use the name. In the case of DKC, of course Nintendo will continue to protect this IP even if it remains dormant for a whole decade or more, because the products that already exist under the DKC banner are too valuable to let the trademark expire.
That's what I thought, but was hoping they'd give us a new Donkey Kong Country game afterwards. All else I can see it being used for are Switch Online releases of DKC 2 and 3, and maybe merchandise of DKC characters.