Navajo Nation case against Urban Outfitters goes to higher court

Urban Outfitters was using the "Navajo" name on products without the Navajo Nation's permission. The goods weren't Indian produced either. Image from CULTURS

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing a dispute between the Navajo Nation and retailer Urban Outfitters.

The case started when the tribe found out that the store was selling items with the "Navajo" name without its permission. The lawsuit alleges violations of trademark law and of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act, a truth-in-marketing law.

The parties entered into mediation in hopes of resolving the dispute but did not reach a settlement. In the meantime, the company tried to cancel the tribe's registration of "Navajo" trademarks.

A judge sided with the tribe due to sovereign immunity. Urban Outfitters is now asking the 10th Circuit to review that holding.

The company was forced to change the name of the "Navajo" products after public attention.

Get the Story:
Urban Outfitters seeks review of decision in Navajo case (AP 3/11)

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