Judge rules Navajo case against Urban Outfitters can continue

A federal judge has ruled that the Navajo Nation's lawsuit against Urban Outfitters can continue under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

The tribe sued the clothing retailer and its subsidiaries in 2012 to keep them from using the "Navajo" name or variations of it on their products.

In October 2011, Urban Outfitters removed the products after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the tribe.

The Daily Times of Farmington reports that U.S. District Judge Bruce D. Black ruled Dec. 21 that the tribe has "injury in fact" and can continue its claim under the Arts and Crafts Act, which was enacted in 1935 to protect the cultural property of Native Americans.

According to court documents, Urban Outfitters argued the tribe lacks standing to the claims because it cannot show injury in fact.

The Navajo Nation complaint states the tribe registered "Navajo" as a trademark in connection with the sale of goods and services as early as 1943, according to the newspaper.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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