A firestorm is raging over Urban Outfitters line of Navajo brand clothing line and accessories within the Navajo Nation government. With allegations of trademark violations and what is considered disrespectful promotion of products such as underwear and a liquor flask. The tribe holds at least 10 trademarks and the use of the name “Navajo” by Urban Outfitters is not legal.
Although its commonplace for designers to borrow from other cultures this case appears to be different. The Navajo Department of Justice sent a cease and desist letter to Urban Outfitters in June, demanding that the company pull the Navajo name from it’s from its product line. The Navajo government has received no response from Urban.
Brian Lewis, an attorney for the tribe said, “When products that have absolutely no connection to the Navajo Nation, its entities, its people, and their products are marketed and retailed under the guise that they are Navajo in origin, the Navajo Nation does not regard this as benign or trivial. It takes appropriate action to maintain distinctiveness and clarity of valid name association in the market and society.”
To learn more click on Trademark. Also click on the map above left to learn more about the Navajo Nation.