The Girl Scouts are suing the Boy Scouts, saying the organization’s inclusive rebranding effort has caused all sorts of consumer confusion from mistaken enrollment in the Boy Scouts to misinformation about a merge of the two groups. Tuesday’s trademark infringement lawsuit is an attempt to clear up the uncertainty, said the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. The Manhattan federal case noted the two separate youth organizations have long coexisted. But problems arose when “core gender distinction” was altered by the Boy Scouts of America, which announced in October 2017 it would open its doors to girls beginning in 2019. Earlier this year, the Boy Scouts unveiled new marketing campaign to back the effort. “Scout Me In,” the tagline proclaimed. But definitely scout the Girl Scouts out of the rebranding. The Girl Scouts’ lawsuit said the Boy Scouts of America had no right under New York State and federal law to use words like “scouts” or “scouting” by themselves “in connection with services offered to girls, or to rebrand itself as ‘the Scouts. ’” That all sent the false message that the Boy Scouts of America were now the exclusive organization providing leadership development services to girls, the lawsuit contends. In court papers, the Girl Scouts said the Boy Scouts’ rebranding announcement has created all kinds of brand confusion across the country. For example, some Minnesota families looking to sign up their girls were erroneously told the Girl Scouts and the Boy Scouts have merged. Meanwhile, in Indiana and South Dakota, some parents mistakenly signed up their daughters to girls’ programs in the Boy Scouts. The Girl Scouts, an organization incorporated in 1915, argued that if the Boy Scouts wanted to broaden their base, they couldn’t do it at their expense. The lawsuit’s claims include trademark infringement and alleged interference with economic prospects. A Boy Scouts of America spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.
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