Japan’s trade minister Hiroshige Seko announced Japan’s Patent Office (JPO) will be sending a delegation to the US to discuss Kim Kardashian West’s attempts to trademark the term ‘Kimono’.
Kardashian West had attempted to obtain various trademarks covering the term ‘Kimono’ for her new line of shapewear.
Her attempts caused major outrage in Japan, with Kyoto’s mayor, Daisaku Kadokawa writing to the reality star stating the term should “not be monopolised”.
Although Kardashian West has since dropped the name, Seko said he will be sending JPO representatives to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on 9 July to discuss the ‘Kimono’ issue and the problem of cultural appropriation.
During a regular Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry press conference, Seko commented on the issue: “The kimono is regarded around the world as a distinct part of our culture.”
“Even in America, kimono is well known to be Japanese and the name is recognised. I hope they will understand the purpose of trademarking and evaluate properly.”