Urban Outfitters is involved in a lawsuit with the Navago Union in the US (see our earlier post here). Navago Union is the largest Native American tribe in the United States. The Navago Union started this lawsuit because of the use of one of their motives and the name Navago for underwear and a flask for liquor. The use of the name offended their belief of modesty and the use of the flask was completely out of the question in view of the ban on alcohol in the reserve (alcohol has been one of the biggest problems for Indian tribes).

Urban Outfitters has now been confronted with a setback: they tried to move the case to Philadelphia as this was more convenient for both parties and because this court is specialized in Intellectual Property. As everybody knows, the right Court can influence the outcome of the case. There is however an important disadvantage of asking for a referral: your request can be denied.

And this is what happened here. The judge found that moving the case would shift the inconvenience from the Urban Outfitters to the Navajo Union. In response to the argument that the Philadelphia court was more specialized he replied saying that  “all federal courts are presumed to be equally competent”. In other words, Urban Outfitters knows that they will not have to count on any sympathy of this judge anymore.

Source: Bloomberg

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Arnaud Bos

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