ALBUQUERQUE, March 3 (UPI) -- U.S. retailer Urban Outfitters' use of the term Navajo costs the Navajo Nation millions of dollars, the tribe said in a lawsuit filed this week.
The Navajo Nation is seeking a cease-and-desist order, CNN reported. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in New Mexico.
American Indian tribes have additional protection on top of trademark laws. The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 bars non-Indians from using tribal names and symbols and was designed to protect tribal artisans.
"For some of our Navajo or native artisans, that's what sells their products. Attaching the name Navajo to their item generates income," said Erny Zah, director of communications for the nation's Office of the President. "To the larger world, we are Navajo, and we take pride in being Navajo."
Almost 60 percent of ethnic Navajo live on the Navajo Nation, a 27,000-square-mile area in the Four Corners area that includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
In the lawsuit, the nation says Urban Outfitters' use of the Navajo name on a flask is especially outrageous. Under tribal law, alcohol cannot be sold on Navajo land and the tribe bars its name from being used to market liquor.