Woman Scouts Sue Boy Scouts in Trademark Infringement Spat

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Girl Scouts Sue Boy Scouts in Trademark Infringement Spat

The Girl Scouts claim that Boy Scout packs and troops tricked unsuspecting parents into enrolling their daughters.

The Girl Scouts of America have filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America alleging that the latter group misled parents into adding their daughters to the historically all-male organization.

The Girl Scouts’ lawsuit was filed in federal court in Manhattan earlier this week, according to the New York Daily News. GSA lawyers claim that the Boy Scouts have waged an aggressive recruiting campaign to poach women for the past two years.

“As a result of the Boy Scouts’ violation, parents mistakenly enrolled their daughters with the Boy Scouts because they thought they were Girl Scouts,” the lawsuit said. “According to the Boy Scouts, the blame for the widespread confusion in the market rests on everyone but his own.”

The Daily News said the Boy Scouts opened their Boy Scout program for girls in 2018. Six months later, teenage girls were given permission to join the general BSA forces.

The Girl Scouts took quick action, claiming the BSA’s decision to open membership was a trademark infringement.

In their most recent filing, the Girl Scouts of America claimed that acceptance of the BSA was “extraordinary and extremely harmful” for all genders, which has caused an “explosion of confusion”.

Collection of boy scout badges. Image via PublicDomainPictures / User: Junior Libby. Public domain.

“The parties’ programs, which have many similarities, are now directly competitive,” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit allegedly cited “several” cases of confusion in which parents were somehow unable to distinguish between the two organizations. Part of the problem, according to the complaint, is the decision by the Boy Scouts of America to change the name of their program for older children in 2019 from “Boy Scouts” to “Scouts BSA”.

Although the Boy Scouts say they have honestly recruited more than 120,000 girls in the past two years, the GSA’s lawsuit reported multiple cases of apparent misconduct – including a case where a Boy Scout pack in Illinois set up a recruiting campaign with the Boy Scouts Slogan and pictures of uniformed scouts. In another case, a scouting council in Massachusetts posted a recruiting flyer on Facebook depicting a girl scout wearing a distinctive brownie uniform.

“Scouts knew exactly […] that SCOUT, SCOUTS and SCOUTING, when used in connection with services to girls, can only create associations with Boy Scouts when other promotional content relating to Girl Scouts of America appears in promotional and promotional materials, “reads the Legal action.

According to court records, the Girl Scouts are demanding monetary damages and reimbursement for money they spent marketing and repeating the organizational differences between the two groups.

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“Very Harmful”: Girl Scouts accuse Girl Scouts of poaching their membership in the recent filing of a two-year lawsuit