U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Girl Scouts Sue Boy Scouts

In what is definitely not a battle of the sexes, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America are suing the Boy Scouts of America.

The principle allegations involve trademark infringement on the use of the word "Scouts" without a gender modifier, and the Boy Scouts' recent decision to start allowing girls to join. The Girl Scouts, being a large, fully established and independent organization claims that Boy Scouts is now marketing to girls and tricking parents into signing girls up for Boy Scouts when the intention was to sign up for Girl Scouts.

Separating Scouts

Interestingly, the two organizations have existed and thrived separately for over a century, albeit the Girl Scouts seemed to avoid the same abuse scandals the Boy Scouts faced.

However, now that the Boy Scouts no longer are exclusive to boys, the Girl Scouts claim that the marketing for recruiting new members needs to change in order to not confuse recruits and parents. Notably though, the Boy Scouts are not fully gender integrated. Only the older Scouts are, while the younger Cub Scouts are still split into boys and girls groups, but both are under the Boy Scouts of America organization.

The big push from the Girl Scouts in filing the case is to get the Boy Scouts to stop using the generic Scout term where it may confuse potential girl scout recruits.

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