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What are defensive trademarks?

Trademark owners can register identical marks for multiple classes of goods and services as defensive trademarks. These defensive trademarks are designed to expand the protective scope of the owner's trademarks and shield against potential infringement. For example, Lenovo Group in China has registered its "LENOVO" trademark in all classes of goods and services. However, trademark owners have a responsibility to use their trademarks, and if a trademark is not used for three consecutive years, it can be cancelled. In some countries, including China, associated trademarks and defensive trademarks are not exempt from this risk of cancellation due to non-use. Despite this risk, defensive trademarks can be a valuable strategy for a trademark owner seeking to protect their brand. By registering additional trademarks, the owner can create a larger defensive perimeter around their brand, although the trademarks may still be subject to cancellation if they are not used.

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