The Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. are carrying their years-long feud into the holidays. Lawyers for the Girl Scouts of America filed documents in court earlier this week digging in on their claims that the Boy Scouts have been employing nefarious tactics to steal their recruits and confuse potential new members. The Boy Scouts responded on Saturday with filings that accused the Girl Scouts of acting out of “anger and alarm” and launching a “ground war” to prevent more girls from enrolling. The court filings escalate a legal battle that began two years ago, when Girl Scouts lawyers filed suit against the Boy Scouts citing numerous instances where Boy Scout troops used marketing terminology that belonged to the Girl Scouts for recruitment efforts, and even examples where Boy Scout troops reportedly had to refund membership dues for families that had falsely believed they were enrolling their children in the Girl Scouts.
Lawyers for the Girl Scouts allege that Boy Scouts of America used language like “scouts” and “scouting,” which they say would constitute trademark infringement, in order to “free ride off of Girl Scouts ‘impeccable’ reputation and boost its position in a ‘new market — Girls in Scouting’” lawyers for the Girl Scouts wrote. The lawyers cite examples of trademark infringement in the Boy Scouts’ recruiting efforts in Illinois, Florida, Minnesota, Arkansas, Michigan, North Carolina, Hawaii and other states. Both the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have seen diminishing membership numbers in recent years, and the Boy Scouts’ reputation has been hurt as tens of thousands of former members have come forward with allegations of sex abuse.