PHOENIX The Navajo Nation, the largest Native
American tribe, has settled a trademark suit brought against the
apparel retail chain Urban Outfitters Inc over use of
the tribe's name in company merchandise, the two sides said on
The deal resolves any and all claims by the tribe, whose
reservation spans three Western states, contesting the
Philadelphia company's "Navajo" and "Navaho" brands in a variety
of products, including pullovers, feathered earrings and
Navajo leaders claimed in the 2012 lawsuit, filed in U.S.
District Court in New Mexico, that the retailer had infringed on
the tribe's trademark rights by selling more than 20 lines of
products under those two brand names.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Court records
show that a federal judge formally dismissed the case on Monday.
But a statement by Navajo leaders said the two parties have
also signed a "supply and license agreement" and plan to
collaborate on authentic American Indian jewelry in future
"We believe in protecting our Nation, our artisans, designs,
prayers and way of life," Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye
said. "We expect that any company considering the use of the
Navajo name, or our designs or motifs, will ask us for our
Azeez Hayne, the company's general counsel, said in the
statement that Urban Outfitters was pleased with the agreement.
"(Urban Outfitters) has long been inspired by the style of
Navajo and other American Indian artists and looks forward to
the opportunity to work with them on future collaborations,"
A Navajo spokesman declined comment on any specifics of the
settlement, adding that the agreement was confidential. A
company spokesman likewise declined further comment.
The territory of Navajo, a sovereign American Indian nation
with some 300,000 enrolled members, occupies 27,425 square miles
(71,010 square km) in parts of northeastern Arizona,
southeastern Utah and northwestern New Mexico. The seat of the
tribal government is located at Window Rock, Arizona.