Navajo Nation and Urban Outfitters Reach Settlement

Nov 18, 2016

The Navajo Nation and the retail chain Urban Outfitters have settled a lawsuit over merchandise the company sold under the term “Navajo”. Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, part of the settlement involves a deal to sell Native American jewelry through the store.

The Navajo Nation sued Urban Outfitters for selling merchandise under the label "Navajo".
Credit KPCC

The exact terms of the agreement are secret. However, the two parties say they plan to enter a supply and license agreement and will work together on designing and selling authentic native jewelry through Urban Outfitters.

The company’s product line called “Navajo” included jewelry, clothing and other products until the tribe filed a lawsuit in 2012. Lawyers with the Navajo Nation said the store hadn’t asked for permission to use the trademarked phrase and sued for compensation. Urban Outfitters attorneys argued “Navajo” is a generic design term and the tribe waited too long to sue.

The tribe’s President Russell Begaye approves of the settlement and expects other companies who want to use the Navajo name to ask for permission.