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Girl Scouts recruitment war with Boy Scouts escalates

Attorneys filed papers Thursday in federal court docket in Manhattan to repel an effort by the Boy Scouts to toss out a 2-year-old trademark infringement lawsuit.

The Woman Scouts are in a “extremely damaging” recruitment warfare with the Boy Scouts after the latter opened its core companies to ladies, resulting in market confusion and a few ladies unwittingly becoming a member of the Boy Scouts, attorneys for the century-old Woman Scouts group declare in papers filed in a federal court docket.

The competitors, extra conjecture than actuality two years in the past, has intensified because the Boy Scouts of America group — which insists recruits pledge to be “reliable, loyal, useful, pleasant, courteous and type” — has unfairly recruited ladies currently, in response to claims in authorized briefs filed on behalf of the Woman Scouts of the US of America.

The attorneys filed papers in Manhattan federal court docket Thursday to repel an effort by the Boy Scouts to toss out earlier than trial a trademark infringement lawsuit the Woman Scouts filed in 2018.

Final month, attorneys for the Boy Scouts requested a decide to reject claims that the Boy Scouts can’t use “scouts” and “scouting” in its recruitment of women with out infringing emblems.

It known as the lawsuit “totally meritless.”

Messages searching for touch upon the most recent submitting by Woman Scouts had been despatched Saturday to attorneys for the Boy Scouts.

In its submitting, the Woman Scouts stated the Boy Scouts’ advertising and marketing of expanded companies for ladies was “extraordinary and extremely damaging to Woman Scouts” and had set off an “explosion of confusion.” 

“On account of Boy Scouts’ infringement, mother and father have mistakenly enrolled their daughters in Boy Scouts pondering it was Woman Scouts,” the attorneys stated, including that this by no means occurred earlier than 2018.

The Ladies Scouts stated they’ll show there are “rampant situations of confusion and mistaken situations of affiliation between Boy Scouts and Woman Scouts” after the Boy Scouts focused ladies and their mother and father with advertising and marketing and recruiting communications in methods it by no means has earlier than.

“The events’ applications, which have many similarities, are actually instantly aggressive,” the Ladies Scouts maintained.

The group cited proof from a slim subset of paperwork turned over by 19 of 250 native Boy Scout councils, together with proof that registration charges typically had been returned to folks who mistakenly thought they registered ladies for the Woman Scouts.

It stated repeated situations of confusion and interference on the native degree by the Boy Scouts was a tiny fraction of what was occurring nationwide.

Every of dozens of instances the Woman Scouts complained about unfair advertising and marketing, the Boy Scouts responded by blaming people, church buildings or others for what they stated was an remoted incident, the attorneys stated.

“In line with Boy Scouts, blame for the rampant market confusion lies at everybody’s toes however its personal,” they wrote.

Each the Woman Scouts and Boy Scouts, like different main youth organizations, have seen declines in membership in recent times as competitors grew pre-pandemic from sports activities leagues and busy household schedules.

In spring 2018, the Boy Scouts program for 11- to 17-year-olds introduced it will change its title to Scouts BSA in early 2019. The guardian group, the Boy Scouts of America, and the Cub Scouts, a program serving kids from kindergarten by fifth grade, stored their names.

The group began admitting ladies into the Cub Scouts in August 2018, and Scouts BSA started accepting ladies in February, 2019, attorneys stated.

Afterward, Boy Scouts councils and volunteers started utilizing Woman Scouts’ mental property to recruit ladies, using focused promoting using phrases corresponding to “Scout, Scouts, Scouting, Scout Me In and Scouts BSA,” the attorneys wrote.

“Boy Scouts knew full properly in 2017, simply because it had within the 1930s and 1970s, that SCOUT, SCOUTS and SCOUTING, when utilized in reference to ladies’ companies, might solely create associations with Woman Scouts until different distinguishing content material referencing Boy Scouts of America appeared in promoting and promotional supplies,” they stated. “Nevertheless it did so anyway, and the one believable inference is that its motive was to free experience off of Woman Scouts ‘impeccable’ popularity and enhance its place in a ‘new market — Ladies in Scouting.'”

The attorneys stated Boy Scouts councils in Illinois acknowledging improperly utilizing the Woman Scouts’ slogan in Cub Scout recruiting supplies and photos of Woman Scouts to advertise a Boy Scouts “Scouts Signal-Up Night time!”

They stated a western Massachusetts Boy Scouts council posted a recruiting flyer on Fb together with {a photograph} of a lady depicted in her Woman Scouts Brownie uniform.

In the meantime, Ohio Boy Scouts used the Woman Scouts trademark to attempt to get a neighborhood newspaper to write down an article, suggesting a storyline entitled “Boy and Woman Scouts In search of Members” though the recruitment concerned solely the Boy Scouts, the attorneys stated.

In Seattle, a Boy Scouts council used the Woman Scouts trademark in social media recruiting supplies, the attorneys stated.

They stated confusion has skyrocketed amongst kids, mother and father, faculties and non secular organizations they usually cited examples in different states, together with Florida, Minnesota, Arkansas, Michigan, North Carolina and Hawaii.

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