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A recent series of trademarks filed by Kim Kardashian West has caused a bit of outrage and debate online.
The trademarks are for Kim’s new “Kimono” shapewear and solutions lingerie clothing line for women, with individual marks applied for “Kimono Body”, “Kimono Intimates” and “Kimono World”. This has naturally created a legal debate online both in Japan and the west.
The concern is that should Kim and her constituents be awarded these trademarks, they would be given legal ownership, at least in part, to the word “Kimono,” which is a very traditional and ancient Japanese word, as well as style of clothing.
Several petitions have been surging in popularity in both Japanese, English, and more, each of which sporting over 100,000 signatures at the time of writing. The hashtag #KimOhNo has also been surging in popularity.
The blowback has been noticeable enough to where Kim has issued a statement to the New York Times. Here’s her full statement:
“I understand and have deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture and have no plans to design or release any garments that would in any way resemble or dishonor the traditional garment. I made the decision to name my company Kimono, not to disassociate the word from its Japanese roots but as a nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment. Filing a trademark is a source identifier that will allow me to use the word for my shapewear and intimates line but does not preclude or restrict anyone, in this instance, from making kimonos or using the word kimono in reference to the traditional garment. My solutionwear brand is built with inclusivity and diversity at its core and I’m incredibly proud of what’s to come.”
Despite the ongoing debate and demands that Kim change the name of her clothing line, her above statement makes it clear – she’s not changing it.
How do you feel about the whole thing? Are traditional and culturally significant words or concepts above legal or corporate ownership? Sound off in the comments below!