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Girl Scouts Suing the Boy Scouts

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5 hours ago, Eagle1993 said:

This seems to align with the 1 hour long video where a patent and trademark attorney essentially say GSUSA lawsuit is weak outside the specific cases of usage of the term “Girl Scouts”.  

It's really hard to assess strengths and weaknesses of the case at this early stage.  In any event, more than 90% of civil cases settle.  The only real question here is how long it will take (years, possibly) and how many millions BSA and GSUSA will pay their attorneys before then.  GSUSA made its point just by filing its complaint:  their organization is still around, still strong, and still fiercely devoted to girls only -- which BSA can never be.  There's not much more they can hope to gain from an arcane trademark dispute, so it is just a money drain for them as long as it goes on.  "Scouts BSA" will be a fact in one week, so BSA has no incentive to do anything fast, and federal court is a great place to string things out (which also keeps the attorney fees down).  So as both a legal and practical matter, the burden is on GSUSA.  

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On 1/25/2019 at 5:54 PM, NJCubScouter said:

But the BSA has won trademark infringement cases that only involved "Scout" (as opposed to "Boy Scout"), which implies that the courts must have found "Scout" is NOT generic.  I do not know of any change in the last several years, or decades, that would produce a different result now that the BSA is on the other side of a lawsuit.

Per the NPR story, it doesn't seem to matter if you won in the past. Each time there is a new case, you run the risk of THAT court deeming it generic. Your status as the defendant or the plaintiff probably doesn't matter.

DuPont probably won every defense of their copyright for Cellophane; until they didn't.

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Facts may change over time, changing the outcome.  Here, BSA  has used "Scouts' and "Scouting" for over a century with no effort by GSA to assert  exclusive ownership of either. 

Many others have openly used "Scout" and even "Boy Scout" in connection with selling goods for decades with no effort to assert exclusive ownership by BSA.

The purpose of the law is to protect consumers of the goods or services from being misled as to the source.

GSA has no case.

BSA should start selling cookies.

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1 hour ago, TAHAWK said:

Many others have openly used "Scout" and even "Boy Scout" in connection with selling goods for decades with no effort to assert exclusive ownership by BSA.

The BSA did go after the BPSA a bunch of years ago over the use of the word "Scout" in the name. They had to change from "Baden-Powell Scout Association" to "Baden-Powell Service Association." But that wasn't just about selling goods, that was about a new organization forming. 

Still raises an interesting point, though. If the BSA successfully won that case to protect their rights to "Scout" in a name, wouldn't that mean they were determined to have such rights in the first place? Wonder if that case could in any way be brought into consideration in the GSUSA case. 

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Back in my High School dayz, our marching band had a fundraising drive for new uniforms.  Us kids brainstormed and came up with the idea of selling "self adhesive wound dressings", and therefore the donator would be a BAND-AIDE (!)  We wrote to the Johnson & Johnson company about using their named item, they wrote back, sent us boxes of "SAWDs" and we went ahead with our campaign , and presto, in about three months we had new uniforms on order.... 

 

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23 hours ago, FireStone said:

Still raises an interesting point, though. If the BSA successfully won that case to protect their rights to "Scout" in a name, wouldn't that mean they were determined to have such rights in the first place? Wonder if that case could in any way be brought into consideration in the GSUSA case. 

I think you can rest assured that the BSA's attorneys will bring up that decision in this case.  Whether it has the effect on this case that you think it might have is another issue.  I believe the legal situation is considerably more murky than Tahawk, for example, thinks it is.  There are at least two factual scenarios involved here, one is that the BSA is using the word "Scout" without any qualifier as to "Boy" or "Girl", the second is that the GSUSA was able to find a number of examples of BSA councils using the phrase "Girl Scout" (or "girl Scout" or similar phrases) to recruit for BSA programs.  It sure seems to me like those councils were violating the GSUSA's trademark.  Whether that conduct is attributable to National is another isse.

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2 hours ago, NJCubScouter said:

It sure seems to me like those councils were violating the GSUSA's trademark

Those examples looked like unit examples (for the most part) vs council.  My question is what is the impact/damages to GSUSA if 20 packs out of 3000+ who added girls had some Trademark issues on a few flyers.   I’m sure there are some damages, but I can’t imagine it would be much more than the legal fees they are paying for the lawsuit.

I think the big question is can BSA use the term Scouts BSA (with the BSA qualifier).  I have a hard time believing the BSA cannot use the term “Scouts BSA”... but I’m not a lawyer.

If this is like any lawsuit I have been close to, I expect it to be resolved some time in 2022.  

 

 

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BSA Zcouts !     Girlz unite !    Boys Stand Around !   

Better say alot , because somebody already believes,  singly and by surely all ,  beautiful sisters are being summoned and  beckoned, so America behoves such absolutely.

 

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The UK has "The Scout Association" (WOSM) and "Girlguiding" (WAGGGS).   

Perhaps we in the US are on our way to a situation in which a Scout and a Girlscout are as distinct as an Apple and a Pineapple.   (Especially since some GSUSA councils are advising their people to always put the word "girl" in front of the word "scout".)

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1 minute ago, Treflienne said:

The UK has "The Scout Association" (WOSM) and "Girlguiding" (WAGGGS).   

Perhaps we in the US are on our way to a situation in which a Scout and a Girlscout are as distinct as an Apple and a Pineapple.   (Especially since some GSUSA councils are advising their people to always put the word "girl" in front of the word "scout".)

@Treflienne, the application of "Guides" to the British UK girls movement was at the insistence of Baden Powell.  Juliet Gordon Lowe would not change "Girl Scouts" to suit. 

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@qwazse  I know that.   And as I have said previously,  it would be brand suicide for GSUSA to go with "Guides".  There is very little recognition of the term in the U.S.  Our little Brownies are always surprised to hear that elsewhere in the world girl scouts are called "girl guides".

But the made-up name I used in this post was "Girlscout",  echoing Girlguiding's running together of the two words.

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23 minutes ago, qwazse said:

@Treflienne, the application of "Guides" to the British UK girls movement was at the insistence of Baden Powell.  Juliet Gordon Lowe would not change "Girl Scouts" to suit. 

@qwazse Do you have more details or a source for his reasoning?

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