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Girl Scouts accuse Boy Scouts of 'damaging' recruitment tactics


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11 minutes ago, scoutldr said:

Reminds me as if Burger King were to sue ChickFilA because people like ChickFilA better.  Both have a product called "chicken sandwich and fries".  If Burger King is losing market share, it's up to them to figure out why and improve their product and marketing.  

Look at the wording, however. This is different and BSA acknowledged for decades that the would/could only use the terms "Scout" and "Scouting" in particular ways that did NOT include girls and did NOT impact GSUSA's rights to their trademarked terms.

Chicken sandwich isn't trademarked. Scout and Scouting is. I'm not inclined to cut and paste what I've already written, so here.

 

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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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2 minutes ago, CynicalScouter said:

Look at the wording, however. This is different and BSA acknowledged for decades that the would/could only use the terms "Scout" and "Scouting" in particular ways that did NOT include girls and did NOT impact GSUSA's rights to their trademarked terms.

Chicken sandwich isn't trademarked. Scout and Scouting is. I'm not inclined to cut and paste what I've already written, so here.

 

Sorry for my confusion, but what is being debated.

Barry

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4 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

My understanding, where there was "confusion" or complaint, registration refunds were given. I don't know that number nor of that number how many applied the refund to join the desired youth group.

My $0.02

 

That's BSA's argument. Where mistakes were made, refunds were given and councils or units were told to knock it off. BSA's General Counsel even wrote apology letters to GSUSA.

GSUSA of course used those apology emails as proof BSA violated the trademarks and therefore needs to pay triple damages,

https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.nysd.504196/gov.uscourts.nysd.504196.1.11.pdf

 

gov1024_2.jpg

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2 hours ago, CynicalScouter said:

GSUSA is claiming that infringing the trademark alone entitled them to damages even if no one made any money off anything.

GSUSA is also separately claiming in fact BSA and units made money off this.

Moreover, GSUSA is basically saying that BSA National controls how this was rolled out and controls the units and councils (and in particular use of branding and trademarks), therefore it is National that needs to pay.

Again - this continues to point to nothing but sour grapes from the GSUSA.  

  

1 hour ago, Eagledad said:

Sorry for my confusion, but what is being debated.

Barry

I don't think anything.  As far as I can tell, everyone here agrees on this topic.  

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REALITY

We have had female "Explorer Scouts" since 1968 - 52 years of "sitting on their alleged rights" precludes success.

[img]https://i.imgur.com/qKrKzvu.png[/img]

Sea Scouting, briefly Sea Exploring, became co-ed in 1972.  

[img]https://i.imgur.com/JZ7sHl1.png[/img]

 

Trademark law is PRIMARILY intended to protect consumers from being misled about the party with whom they are dealing or whose product they are purchasing. 

Encouraging competition is anothe policy of federal law.

 

 

 

 

Hamm.  Pictures are not appearing.

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6 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

We have had female "Explorer Scouts" since 1968 - 52 years of "sitting on their alleged rights" precludes success.

And BSA admitted it shouldn't do what it did to the Patent and Trademark Office. Or was BSA lying in 2004? Care to actually respond to GSUSA's argument? I'm honestly curious.

Quote

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.

And GSUSA asserted its right to the trademark from early on.

Quote

 

41. Defendant [BSA] has long acknowledged that use of the SCOUT or SCOUTING marks, unaccompanied by distinguishing terms or devoid of context, even in connectionwith its programs for boys, could result in confusion. For example, on January 23, 1979, Defendant conceded in a letter to GSUSA that its use of its SCOUTING/USA mark (which obviously combines SCOUTING with the merely descriptive and therefore non-distinctive term “USA”) could mislead the public into believing that GSUSA is affiliated with BSA, or could be confusing to donors who intended to donate to BSA or GSUSA. For this reason, BSA took care at that time to make sure that its councils and troops included BSA’s full name in marketing materials in which that mark was used. A true and accurate copy of this correspondence is attached as Exhibit D. Upon information and belief, this trademark is no longer used by BSA.

42. In another communication sent by BSA to GSUSA on April 26, 1978, Defendant stated that it had taken “several steps that should assist potential public confusion that the communicative term Scouting/USA also refers to [GSUSA]. For one thing, we have instructed our Scouters, including our Public Relations staff, to use the term sparingly, and when it is used to always also feature the words ‘Boy Scouts of America.’” A true and accurate copy of this correspondence is attached as Exhibit E. Significantly, these steps to prevent potential confusion caused by the use of the term SCOUTING/USA were taken, even though BSA only admitted boys to its central programs at that time.

43. Defendant has therefore long recognized both: (i) GSUSA’s trademark rights in the GS Marks, including SCOUTS and SCOUTING, when used in connection with leadership programs for girls and related services and products; and (ii) that Defendant’s use of the terms SCOUT or SCOUTING preceded by other distinguishing terms, or outside of a context making clear that the services in question are directed to boys, would be likely to cause confusion

 

 

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13 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

Trademark law is PRIMARILY intended to protect consumers from being misled about the party with whom they are dealing or whose product they are purchasing. 

Yep. Which is why GSUSA noted that some BSA councils were using GSUSA trademarked logos and outright telling people that GSUSA was merged into BSA.

Again, that's not a fact in dispute. And BSA's general counsel issued several apology letters to GSUSA for it (I linked to one).

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"We have had female "Explorer Scouts" since 1968 - 52 years of "sitting on their alleged rights" precludes success."

"And BSA admitted it shouldn't do what it did to the Patent and Trademark Office. Or was BSA lying in 2004? Care to actually respond to GSUSA's argument? I'm honestly curious."

 

Ah yes, "have you stopped beating your wife?"

Your reference is unclear.  BSA admitted  that it should not have used the term "Exploer Scouts" starting in 1968 for a co-ed program or "Sea Scouts" somewhat later for another co-ed program?  Never heard that.  Source?

And what happened, please, in 2004, that relates to the use of Exploerer Scouts or Sea Scouts, both co-ed programs of BSA for decades orior to 2004?

In any case, a claim that such use was unlawful is time-barred because GSA did not attempt to enforce any such cliamed right in the dcades that followed.  A claim must be valid and timely, unless one can persuade politicians to change the rules after the fact.  

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11 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

BSA admitted  that it should not have used the term "Exploer Scouts" starting in 1968 for a co-ed program or "Sea Scouts" somewhat later for another co-ed program?  Never heard that.  Source?

You changed the parameters. GSUSA isn't objecting to the use in the context of Explorer Scouts or Sea Scouts. You brought them up.

And as GSUSA noted, it DID attempt to enforce ALL such cliamed right in the dcades that followed. I cited enforcement efforts in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

They are objecting to the use in the context of the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts (now Scouts, BSA) program.

NOTHING of what you post actually address GSUSA's legal claims. Instead you are throwing up photos as if that is a legal argument.

Again, here's a copy of the complaint. Why not address it and not post photos? If you incapable of addressing GSUSA's legal arguments that's fine. As you note, trademark law is tricky.

https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Scouts.pdf

709959040_Scouts1.pdf

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I brought  those facts up because they are material to the timliness of GSA's  claim to have  an enforceable claim to exclusing use of "Scouts" or "Scouting" in connection with a, program that includes girls.  

That's the thing about litigation, the other side is allowed to present evicdence that refutes or blocks your claims.  Both sides get to participate.  That West wisely decided to stop try to block GSA use of  "Scouts" when President Hoover's wife became the head of GSA, does not effect BSA's right to continue, after fifty-teo years, to use those words  in connection with  co-ed program.  

GSA seems clearly motivated not by concern for consumer confusion, but by an undrstandable concern for it's future.  As a former pre-divestiture "Bell Head," I have experienced the comfort of monopoly.  Competition is stressful. Tough cookies (really thick mints?)

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7 minutes ago, TAHAWK said:

I brought  those facts up because they are material to the timliness of GSA's  claim to have  an enforceable claim to exclusing use of "Scouts" or "Scouting" in connection with a, program that includes girls

 

Yep. And GSUSA can point to BSA's lying in 2004 to the Patent and Trademark Office. That would be relevant.

Quote

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.

And in 1979 admitting GSUSA had the trademark rights.

Quote

on January 23, 1979, Defendant conceded in a letter to GSUSA that its use of its SCOUTING/USA mark (which obviously combines SCOUTING with the merely descriptive and therefore non-distinctive term “USA”) could mislead the public into believing that GSUSA is affiliated with BSA, or could be confusing to donors who intended to donate to BSA or GSUSA. For this reason, BSA took care at that time to make sure that its councils and troops included BSA’s full name in marketing materials in which that mark was used.

And in 1978

Quote

on April 26, 1978, Defendant stated that it had taken “several steps that should assist potential public confusion that the communicative term Scouting/USA also refers to [GSUSA]. For one thing, we have instructed our Scouters, including our Public Relations staff, to use the term sparingly, and when it is used to always also feature the words ‘Boy Scouts of America.’”

And in 1982 BSA was WARNED by the Patent and Trademark Office not to do what it did.

Quote

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.

But sure, let's pretend that never happened.

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"Look at the wording, however. This is different and BSA acknowledged for decades that the would/could only use the terms "Scout" and "Scouting" in particular ways that did NOT include girls and did NOT impact GSUSA's rights to their trademarked terms."

 

Source, beyond bare allegations?  You seems to assume that anything your side says must be accepted as true.

 

Thanks for the Downvote.  I have seen three of those in 16 years here, and you own two. 

 

Sometimes a knock is as good as a boost.

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Their argument seems to be 2 fold. One can be fixed simply (and already has) and the other has no merit.

1) Some Scouts BSA units used confusing, wrong, or protected wording and imagery in the recruiting 2 years ago. This was rectified, apologized for, and stopped. No material loss is shown, none intended, issue done. 

2) The GSUSA doesn't like that the BSA is allowing girls. They don't like that we are calling it Scouts and that girls are involved. There is no protection to this at all. If we changed the name to Scouts BSA, but did not involve girls, they would have had no issue. Now that the BSA allows girls, GSUSA is upset. Too bad, they can't dictate our program. Move on.

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