The Boy Scouts of America began accepting girls between the ages of 7-10 into their organization in October 2017, and have now decided to drop ‘boys’ from their title and are going to operate under ‘Scouts BSA’ and make girls eligible for their highest rank, Eagle Scout.
The Girl Scouts of the United States of America have filed a trademark infringement lawsuit. The Girl Scouts state that the Boy Scouts do not have exclusive rights to ‘scout,’ and the Boy Scouts’ attempt to change their name has already caused confusion, with individuals wondering whether the two organizations had combined.
The Boy Scouts were founded in 1910, and the Girl Scouts were founded 2 years later. These are two very strong trademark names with nationwide, if not larger, recognition. The Girl Scouts claim these actions by the Boy Scouts are “new and uniquely damaging to” the Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts are trying to protect their intellectual property rights in the marketplace, as this change will surely have some kind of effect on them.
As the lawsuit was only just filed, it is unclear how this will proceed. But one thing is for sure, this is a very interesting case between two trademark holders, each with over a century of good-will. I will continue to monitor this case and provide updates.