The Girl Scouts of the United States of America filed suit against the Boy Scouts on Monday for trademark infringement for dropping the word “boy” from its flagship program in an effort to attract girls.
According to the complaint, “such misconduct will not only cause confusion among the public, damage the goodwill of GSUSA’s Girl Scouts trademarks, and erode its core brand identity, but it will also marginalize the Girl Scouts Movement by causing the public to believe that GSUSA’s extraordinarily successful services are not true or official ‘Scouting’ programs, but niche services with limited utility and appeal.”
The Girls Scouts say it has already been damaged by the name change announcement, saying that “throughout the country, families, schools and communities have been told that GSUSA and BSA have merged, or even that GSUSA no longer exists.”
“Parents interested in signing up for Girl Scouts programs have instead mistakenly signed up for the new girls’ programs offered by BSA,” the complaint said.
The Girl Scouts, as well as other youth organizations, have also seen a decline in membership in recent years due to conflicting family schedules, sports leagues, and other extracurricular activities.
The Boy Scouts announced the name change of its program for older boys to “Scouts BSA” last May, and is set to begin accepting girls in 2019.
According to a statement released by the Boy Scouts, they “applaud every organization that builds character and leadership in children, including the Girl Scouts of the USA, and believe that there is an opportunity for both organizations to serve girls and boys in our communities.”
The Boy Scouts said it will be reviewing the lawsuit “carefully.”