The Girl Scouts of USA, founded in 1912, has filed a suit for trademark infringement against the Boy Scouts of America. The suit was file dafter the latter decided to drop “Boy” from its namesake program and started welcoming older girls.
The Boy Scouts accepts children aged between 11 and 17. Earlier this year, it announced that it would change its name to Scouts BSA and make girls eligible to earn the rank of an Eagle Scout (the highest rank in the Boy Scouts). The suit is an attempt by the Girl Scouts to avert erosion of its brand.
In the suit, the Girl Scouts state that the Boy Scouts have no monopoly over terms such as “scouts” and “scouting” when it offers services to girls. It also submits that the change of name of the Boy Scouts threatens to marginalize the activities of the Girl Scouts. Families, communities and schools across the nation are being told the Girl Scouts no longer exist or have merged with the Boy Scouts.
“We did what any brand, company, corporation, or organization would do to protect its intellectual property, the value of its brand in the marketplace, and to defend its good name,” the Girl Scouts said in a statement.
The Boy Scouts has said that the re-branding was part of a single-name approach adopted by it in 2017 when it decided to let girls enroll in the Cub Scouts. It has also launched a “Scout Me In” campaign featuring boys and girls.
“We applaud every organization that builds character and leadership in children, including the Girl Scouts of the USA, and believe that there is an opportunity for both organizations to serve girls and boys in our communities,” it added.