The Girl Scouts of the USA, the youth organisation founded in 1912 with the aim of empowering American girls, has filed a trade mark infringement lawsuit this week against the Boy Scouts of America.
The lawsuit was filed after the Boy Scouts of America announced they are planning on dropping the word 'Boy' from their name and from May 2019 will just be known as Scouts BSA. The change has been made by the organisation in an effort to attract girls to join. Although the Boy Scouts of America is still one of the largest scouting organisations in America, their membership numbers, though still in their millions, have been steadily depleting since the 1970's. The idea behind the renaming of the organisation is that now girls will be able to join; a move which they hope will reverse the membership decline.
The Girl Scouts of the USA, concerned that their brand will be damaged and their own membership figures will be affected by the Boy Scouts of America name change, have filed a trade mark infringement suit against the organisation. The Girl Scouts of the USA have argued that the name change will be damaging to them and that only they have the right to use terms such as "scout" and "scouting" in relation to leadership development activities for girls.
The Boy Scouts of America have responded by saying that they are reviewing the matter but they "believe that there is an opportunity for both organisations to serve girls and boys in our communities".
It will be interesting to see how aggressively the Girls Scouts of the USA will continue to defend their mark or if they too will see there is opportunity to expand their organisation to boys.
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