Importing material names into Blender from 3ds

I’m hoping to use Blender as my rendering engine for architecture projects modelled in AutoCAD. I can import the files via 3ds file format which works great, but if I re-import my file (ie. if I need to move a window or wall), it changes all of the material names from something like brick to brick.001.

Ideally I would keep the materials, lighting, and views in Blender, and model in AutoCAD. As the file changes, I just delete the previous model and import the updated and have the materials automatically use the material from the previous model. So instead of having all of the objects that have a material named brick being imported and renamed to brick.001, brick.002, etc…, they would all just be imported and named brick, thus retaining the properties of that material and I wouldn’t need to manually reapply materials to each object.

Any help or suggestion on the issue would be greatly appreciated.