NEW YORK (AP) — A federal decide rejected Girl Scouts’ claims Thursday that the Boy Scouts created market confusion and broken their recruitment efforts by utilizing phrases like “scouts” and “scouting” in recruitment drives.
Manhattan Judge Alvin Okay. Hellerstein dominated the Boy Scouts of America can describe their actions as “scouting” with out referring to gender and that the matter doesn’t must be put to a jury.
Hellerstein stated his written choice caps a “serious, contentious and expensive” litigation and necessitates dismissal of the lawsuit introduced by the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.
“In truth, Girl Scouts’ complaint is based, not on concern for trademark confusion, but on fear for their competitive position in a market with gender neutral options for scouting,” Hellerstein wrote. “Though Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts may now compete more than they once did, neither organization can preempt the other’s use of the Scout Terms and their trademarks are not likely to be confused.”
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The lawsuit was filed in late 2018, a yr after the Boy Scouts introduced that boy scouting and cub scouting could be open to women, main the organizations to compete for members after social traits and an increase in sports activities league participation drove down membership for many years. The sample worsened when the pandemic hit.
“The Boy Scouts adopted the Scout Terms to describe accurately the co-ed nature of programming, not to confuse or exploit Girl Scouts’ reputation,” Hellerstein wrote. “Such branding is consistent with the scout-formative branding Boy Scouts has used for a century, including in its co-ed programs that have existed since the 1970s.”
The term “scout” is descriptive of each the Boy Scouts’ and Girl Scouts’ programming, the decide wrote.
“The Boy Scouts’ choice to turn into co-ed, even when it impacts Girl Scouts’ operations, doesn’t display unhealthy religion,” the judge added.
Hellerstein’s decision comes while the Boy Scouts are in bankruptcy proceedings in Delaware that began in February 2020. The Irving, Texas-based organization sought bankruptcy protection after it was named in hundreds of lawsuits brought by individuals claiming they were molested by scout leaders as minors.
The Girl Scouts said it was “deeply disappointed” in the decision and will appeal.
“This case is about ensuring that parents are not misled into thinking that Girl Scouts are part of or the same as the Boy Scouts,” the organization said in a statement.
In a statement, the Boy Scouts said the ruling had vindicated its position.
It noted that 305,000 girls are currently enrolled in its programs and that since full participation was permitted beginning in 2019, more than 2,200 females have become Eagle Scouts.
It said it “looks forward to welcoming more girls into our positive, life changing programs.”
In his decision, Hellerstein wrote that he was siding with the Boy Scouts in part because the Girls Scouts cannot prove that a likelihood of confusion was caused by the Boy Scouts’ use of the term “scout.”
He stated the Girl Scouts had cited cases of fogeys complicated the 2 organizations. But he added that the selection to affix one group or the opposite is made after a number of interactions with the group, by youngsters’s needs to affix a gaggle siblings or mates have joined, or different elements unrelated to logos and branding.
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