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Girl Scouts accuse Boy Scouts of 'damaging' recruitment tactics


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https://thehill.com/homenews/news/531712-girl-scouts-accuse-boy-scouts-of-damaging-recruitment-tactics

 

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The Girl Scouts organization accused the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) of "damaging" recruitment tactics after it opened its core services to girls.

On Thursday, documents were filed in federal court that seek to challenge a move by lawyers for the BSA to toss out a case of trademark infringement brought by the Girl Scouts in 2018. 

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America claim that the BSA has unfairly recruited girls, according to legal filings, The Associated Press reported.

The Girl Scouts claim that the BSA's use of the terms "scouts" and "scouting" infringes on trademarks of the organization. 

 

 

 

Edited by John-in-KC
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If the GSUSA had marketed their Gold Award half as effectively as they've promoted 'Thin Mints' and 'Do-Si-Do's' we wouldn't be in this mess.

That's a topic in itself. If I had time, I'd link to it. The short answer: "no". The lack of outside leadership to force BSA and GS/USA to work in lock-step led to their mutual erosion. Reflecting on

If you recall Surbagh's Town Hall video, he as much admitted they (National gang) was pretty much out of ideas on how to add members to the program.  The adding girls was a hail Mary.   In realit

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Girl Scouts rebuke Boy Scouts in escalating recruitment war

https://apnews.com/article/us-news-new-york-trademark-infringement-trademarks-manhattan-00ed4641c60828eefca1c14d57faada3

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Girl Scouts are in a “highly damaging” recruitment war with the Boy Scouts after the latter opened its core services to girls, leading to marketplace confusion and some girls unwittingly joining the Boy Scouts, lawyers for the century-old Girl Scouts organization claim in papers filed in a federal court.

The competition, more conjecture than reality two years ago, has intensified as the Boy Scouts of America organization — which insists recruits pledge to be “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous and kind” — has unfairly recruited girls lately, according to claims in legal briefs filed on behalf of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

 

The lawyers filed papers in Manhattan federal court Thursday to repel an effort by the Boy Scouts to toss out before trial a trademark infringement lawsuit the Girl Scouts filed in 2018.

Last month, lawyers for the Boy Scouts asked a judge to reject claims that the Boy Scouts cannot use “scouts” and “scouting” in its recruitment of girls without infringing trademarks.

It called the lawsuit “utterly meritless.”

 

 

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This looks to me like simply legal posturing by the GSUSA.  Having seen a couple of years of recruiting girls now, it's all been what you expect and it's all quite ethical.

It's a big country and so I'm sure they'll find a few cases where this has happened - but it's far from a systemic issue.

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From  the GSUSA Charter...

§80302. Purposes

The purposes of the corporation are—

(1) to promote the qualities of truth, loyalty, helpfulness, friendliness, courtesy, purity, kindness, obedience, cheerfulness, thriftiness, and kindred virtues among girls, as a preparation for their responsibilities in the home and for service to the community;

(2) to direct and coordinate the Girl Scout movement in the United States and territories and possessions of the United States; and

(3) to fix and maintain standards for the movement that will inspire the rising generation with the highest ideals of character, patriotism, conduct, and attainment.

https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title36/subtitle2/partB/chapter803&edition=prelim

One could make the case that, even by marketing to girls as "scouts", the BSA is infringing on the Congressional Charter of the GSUSA.

 

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13 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

One could make the case that, even by marketing to girls as "scouts", the BSA is infringing on the Congressional Charter of the GSUSA.

And that's sorta what the Patent and Trademark Office ruled in 1982. They said BSA could continue to use the word "scout" as long as when they did so they did NOT indicate or imply it was Girl Scouts or girl scouts or Girl Scouting of girl scouting. And BSA even admitted and acknowledged as much in 2004.
https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Scouts.pdf
 

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38.BSA expressly acknowledged this important division in trademark rights before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) of the PTO. Specifically, in 2004, BSA admitted in a filing made in a trademark opposition proceeding, No. 91157313, that GSUSA owned exclusive, congressionally granted rights to SCOUTS and SCOUTING with respect to youth development programs for girls. It further stated that, “the Boy Scouts controls use of the marks [SCOUT and SCOUTING] in connection with development programs for boys, while Girl Scouts controls use of the marks in connection with development programs for girls. Their joint use of the marks has been expressly recognized by Congress.” True and accurate copies of excerpts from this filing BSA made with the TTAB are attached as Exhibit B. See pp. 20-21.

39.When examining Defendant’s SCOUTING trademark, the PTO requested that BSA limit the scope of goods covered by that mark to magazines offering instructional advice specific to boys, “since a similar Federally distributed magazine sponsored for girls and young women also uses the term ‘Scout’ and ‘Scouting’ in referring to organizational activities and members of its organization.” See PTO Office Action issued on June 15, 1982, in connection with Application Serial No. 282546, a true and accurate copy of which is attached as Exhibit C. Plainly, the other “organization” in question is GSUSA.

 

 

Edited by CynicalScouter
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@CynicalScouter, good read, thanks.  I do believe they have a strong case.

If the court decides in their favor, one could also then make the argument for a new Scouting organization, with application for a Congressional Charter, which would be open to all, regardless of sex or gender.

If Congress denied the charter, one could sue under the 14th Amendment's equal protections clause.  Of course, the sad reality in our country is that access to the justice system requires prohibitive sums of money.  

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16 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

@CynicalScouter, good read, thanks.  I do believe they have a strong case.

If the court decides in their favor, one could also then make the argument for a new Scouting organization, with application for a Congressional Charter, which would be open to all, regardless of sex or gender.

If Congress denied the charter, one could sue under the 14th Amendment's equal protections clause.  Of course, the sad reality in our country is that access to the justice system requires prohibitive sums of money.  

1) The point is NOT that you need a new organization. No one is asking for that, certainly not GSUSA. What they want is BSA to stop using words like "Girl Scouts, BSA" or "Girl Scouts" (which in fact was being done by some councils and volunteers when this came out in 2017) and they want financial compensation for the infringement.

2) GSUSA is NOT seeking a court to order Scouts, BSA or Cub Scouts from recruiting girls. What they want is it to be clear that they are two separate organizations. I suspect they'll win on this and at the bottom of most BSA publications there will be some "not affiliated with GSUSA".

3) Congress isn't covered by the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. That portion of the 14th Amendment applies only to states.

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No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

 

Edited by CynicalScouter
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From Ebay a few years back,

http://inquiry.net/adult/bsa_vs_gsusa.htm

This collection of typed documents is from the estate of Mark Jones who was an official in the Girl Scouts in the 1920s-30s with his name in pencil at the top of the front cover. The documents are marked "copy" but this might be the only copy left in the world. There are 37 typed sheets all typed on one side of 37 pages bound in a blue folder. 

The Boy Scouts Inc. sued the Girl Scouts Inc. and Winchester Arms over the use of the word "scout" in 1924 claiming it was an infringement on their trademark. 

Also, named in the lawsuit was Winchester Arms which made equipment for the Girl Scouts using the word "scout". The Boy Scouts Inc. also claimed that the use of the name "Girl Scouts" inflicted psychological damage on the boys and the name should be "Girl Guides" as Lord Baden Powell recommended.

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3 hours ago, Kudu said:

The Boy Scouts Inc. also claimed that the use of the name "Girl Scouts" inflicted psychological damage on the boys and the name should be "Girl Guides" as Lord Baden Powell recommended.

GSUSA was originally Girl Guides of America, but the name didn't catch on and they changed it. 

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32 minutes ago, mrjohns2 said:

GSUSA was originally Girl Guides of America, but the name didn't catch on and they changed it. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defunct_Scout_and_Scout-like_organizations_in_the_United_States#Girl_Scouts_of_America
 

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Girl Scouts of America (GSA) was an early girl Scouting organization that operated starting in 1910.

The Girl Scouts of America was established in Des Moines, Iowa by Clara A. Lisetor-Lane in 1910.[5] In 1911, the GSA and the Girl Guides (Spokane, Washington) planned to merge with the Camp Fire Girls to form the Girl Pioneers of America,[6] but relationships fractured and the merger failed.[5] That year, Lisetor-Lane had published her group's manual based on the Girl Guides handbook.[7]

Juliette Gordon Low attempted in 1913 to merge the Girl Scouts of the USA with the GSA. With the groups' similarities, Low thought this would be easy, but Lisetor-Lane felt Low copycatted her organization and threatened a lawsuit. With Low's group's growth, Lisetor-Lane thought that Low used underhanded tactics to lure troops away. The GSA never grew beyond a few troops as Lisetor-Lane had limited social connections and no financial resources to grow the organization on a national level. The GSA eventually[when?] died out.[7]

 

 

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