Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) and Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have entered into an agreement to end the ongoing trademark infringement litigation between the two parties. Both organizations are looking forward to focusing on their respective missions to serve youth. The agreement is subject to approval by the Court overseeing BSA’s bankruptcy proceedings.
Under the agreement, GSUSA permanently withdraws all of the trademark claims made in the case and agrees not to appeal the summary judgement ruling of the District Court. In return, BSA relinquishes its claims for legal fees and costs against GSUSA, which it asserted following the District Court’s grant of summary judgement. Neither party is paying the other as part of the settlement. As part of the agreement, both parties agreed to periodic meetings of their respective CEOs and board representatives. With this settlement begins a new period of cooperation and synergy between the two organizations.
One component of the agreement requires that BSA be proactive in ensuring its councils do not infringe on the GSUSA’s trademarks. All representatives of Scouting, including Scout units, should be mindful of this.
It’s important to remember that at all levels, from our members and volunteers to our professional staff, BSA takes the brand and trademark rights of all organizations seriously and the organization has worked proactively to differentiate its unique program offerings. That of course includes the Scouts BSA program, so when referring to that program in any local council or unit materials — including recruiting fliers, announcements, promotional materials, social media posts, and beyond — be sure to follow the guidelines set out in this infographic on the BSA Brand Center:
As has been our tradition at the Boy Scouts of America, we applaud the efforts of all youth-serving organizations and encourage families to participate in character and leadership development programs of their choice. The BSA wants boys and girls to have an opportunity to join one or more of these organizations. While we all use different delivery models, our distinct missions have one thing in common – to serve youth.