The Girl Scouts of the USA filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday against the Boy Scouts of America, accusing the organization of trademark infringement.
The Boy Scouts announced last fall that it would start letting girls join the Cub Scouts, a decision that angered the Girl Scouts. "We are confused as to why, rather than working to appeal to the 90 percent of boys who are not involved in BSA programs, you would choose to target girls," Girl Scouts national President Kathy Hopinkah Hannan wrote in a letter published last year by BuzzFeed News.
The Scouts BSA program is open to boys and girls ages 11 to 17, and in the lawsuit, the Girl Scouts argues this generic use of "Scouts" will "not only cause confusion among the public," but will also "marginalize the Girl Scouts movement by causing the public to believe that GSUSA's extraordinarily successful services are not true or official 'Scouting' programs, but niche services with limited utility and appeal." The Girl Scouts also allege that marketing materials for the Boy Scouts make it look like the two organizations have combined. Catherine Garcia