Quileute Tribe Sues Merchandising Company for Violation of Indian Arts and Crafts Act Related to “Twilight” Movies

Here is the complaint in Quileute Tribe v. National Entertainment Collectibles Association (W.D. Wash.):

1 Complaint

An excerpt:

1. The Quileute Tribe brings this Complaint against National Entertainment Collectibles Association, Inc. (“NECA”) for unfair competition and for violation of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. In this action, the Quileute Tribe seeks to protect its heritage from Defendant’s improperly marketed and advertised products, and to ensure that consumers are no longer deceived, confused or misled in their pursuits to find and acquire authentic and genuine Quileute products.

2. The Quileute people have lived on the Olympic Peninsula for thousands of years, and have their own unique language, art and folklore. Quileute art and artifacts are prized for their distinctive character, and are displayed in museums throughout Washington.
3. As alleged herein, NECA has advertised, promoted, and sold its goods under the “Quileute” name on the Internet and in various retail stores across the United States. Defendant’s conduct is designed to convey to consumers a false association or affiliation with the Quileute Tribe, and to unfairly trade off of the fame, reputation and goodwill of the Quileute Tribe.
4. Consumers have been misled as to the source, origin, sponsorship, or affiliation of Defendant’s products sold under the “Quileute” name. If Defendant is permitted to continue to market and retail its products, many consumers will conclude that the goods sold by NECA were originated from, jointly developed by, licensed, certified, supported by or are otherwise affiliated with the Quileute Tribe, which they are not.
5. In addition, NECA sells its goods by falsely suggesting they are the product of the Quileute Tribe, are Indian-produced or are the product of an Indian Tribe, in violation of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

6. The Quileute Tribe accordingly brings this action, seeks damages, and seeks to enjoin NECA from using the “Quileute” name for the marketing and sale of goods.