Navajo Nation suit against Urban Outfitters on hold

May 24, 2013

The Navajo Nation’s case against Urban Outfitters is on hold while the parties work toward a settlement. The Nation sued Urban Outfitters in March of last year, saying the clothing company violated trademarks of the Navajo name.

Urban Outfitters sold products such as flasks, underwear, and socks with the Navajo trademark on them, claiming “Navajo” is a generic term for a style of design.

A federal judge has delayed court proceedings while Urban Outfitters and Navajo Nation try to work out a settlement. After that, the two sides will have to notify the court whether they are successful. Urban Outfitters wants the court to cancel the tribe’s federal trademark registrations.

This is not the first time Urban Outfitters has struck a nerve with ethnic groups. In the past, it has upset others with St. Patrick’s Day merchandise, depicting people of Irish heritage as alcoholics.

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