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100th Anniversary Of Girl Scout Cookies A Case Study In Ip Licensing

100th Anniversary of Girl Scout Cookies -- A Case Study in IP Licensing



24 February 20175 min read

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100th Anniversary of Girl Scout Cookies -- A Case Study in IP Licensing


It's National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend! You know what that means -- millions of little (and not-so-little) girls hit the streets and the stores to push our biggest vice.

Different Names of the Cookies

While everyone reading this surely knows what Thin Mints are, depending on where you live in the US, you may not have heard of Tagalongs or Samoas.

Reason for Different Names

So why the difference? Intellectual property and licensing!

Ownership of Trademarks

Interbake Foods, LLC in Richmond, VA (the company that owns ABC Bakers) has owned the trademark registration for CARAMEL DELITES for "cookies" in Class 30 since 1998, although the first use was in 1982.

On the other hand, Kellogg North America Company in Battle Creek, MI (the parent company of Little Brownie Bakers) has owned the trademark registration for SAMOAS for "cookies" in Class 30 since 1986, although the first use was in 1974.

Girl Scouts of the United States of America owns the registration for THIN MINTS. Although the mark had been in use since 1974, it was only registered as a federal trademark in 2011.

Quite the licensing empire! Although it may seem like selling cookies is just a way for troops to raise money for camping or community service (and it definitely is, don't get me wrong!), Girl Scouts also has an entire business skills program for girls ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade.

It's perhaps not a coincidence that although 25% of American women were Girl Scouts, 80% of female CEOs are graduates of the cookie program. So while you're enjoying your Thin Mints this weekend, think about how you're helping to prepare the next generation of female leaders!


The different names of Girl Scout cookies are due to intellectual property and licensing. Interbake Foods, LLC owns the trademark for CARAMEL DELITES, while Kellogg North America Company owns the trademark for SAMOAS. Girl Scouts of the United States of America owns the trademark for THIN MINTS. Selling cookies not only raises money for troops but also helps girls develop business skills. The cookie program has had a significant impact, with many female CEOs being graduates of the program.

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