And no one won Brownie points

I suppose I should have seen this coming:

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America have filed a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America for dropping “boy” from the scout group’s name.

The Boy Scouts of America announced in May they would rename the Boy Scouts programme Scouts BSA as they prepare to allow girls as members.

But the Girl Scouts say the change could erode their brand, calling the move “uniquely damaging” to them. Their lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction against trademark breaches.

At least this is consistent with prior GSUSA practice:

The Cub Scouts, for ages seven to 10, opened its local clubs to all children in 2018. Boy Scouts, for ages 11 to 17, will follow its footsteps next year when the programme name change becomes official.

But the Girl Scouts protested the decision at the time, with the group’s president Kathy Hopinkah Hannan accusing them of a “covert campaign” to recruit girls to tackle a “well-documented” declining membership.

The Boy Scouts reportedly have close to 2.3m members in the US, down about a third since 2000, compared with around 2 million members for the Girl Scouts.

Now if the boys start selling cookies, there’s going to be litigation like you wouldn’t believe.

3 comments »

  1. Dan T. »

    7 November 2018 · 6:58 pm

    I understand why they’re peeved, but I don’t see where they have any legal leg to stand on; “Scouts” without other words next to it is too generic for anybody to have a trademark on, since both the Boy and Girl variety have coexisted for a century.

  2. jsallison »

    7 November 2018 · 7:35 pm

    Don’t care who gets me my Samoas. We always fantasized about being on a campout in walking distance of a Girl Scout campout. Never happened. Will there be co-ed scout campouts? That would move my weird-meter.

  3. hollyh »

    8 November 2018 · 8:24 am

    Yes, “Scout Cookies” will appear soon. As a former Boy-Scout mom, watching the poor boys trying to push their popcorn products, I feel their pain.

    I agree, it’s hard to see how the Girl Scouts could win this.

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