That’s How the Cookie Crumbles: Thin Mints and Girl Scouts Trademarks


It’s that time of year! Girl Scout cookies recently went on sale so prepare yourself for heated debates about the best cookie and, of course, the guilt of eating an entire box of cookies in one sitting. I wasn’t surprised to learn that Thin Mints are the all-time best selling cookies (as well as my personal favorite). Regardless of your preferred Girl Scout cookie, most of the people reading this will contribute to the $700 million-plus annual fundraising empire. When the Girl Scouts started selling cookies decades ago, only one kind of cookie was available - a simple sugar cookie. Over the years, over 50 kinds of cookies have been sold as Girl Scout cookies and about 40 of those have been discontinued.

My curiosity got the best of me so I reviewed the USPTO records for Girl Scouts trademarks. In addition to some of the iconic varieties, here are a few trademarks and fun facts for varieties that have found themselves in the Girl Scout cookie graveyard, as well as some relatively new flavors.

• THIN MINTS- Although the trademark was first used in 1959, it was not registered until 2011 • TREFOILS- Other than THIN MINTS, the only registered cookie flavor I could find registered in the name of the Girls Scouts (most of the cookie trademarks are registered in the name of Kellogg North America) • JULIETTES- Allegedly named after Girl Scouts founder, Juliette Low, it includes caramel and pecans and was covered in milk chocolate • LEMON COOLERS- Introduced in 1960’s, this cookie was around for over 30 years • ALOHA CHIPS- Originally registered in 2001, the trademark registration was allowed to lapse in 2008 but is now the subject of a suspended application filed in 2012…perhaps there are plans to resurrect this old favorite? • TOFFEE-TASTIC- This gluten-free buttery cookie with crunchy toffee bits was introduced in 2015 • RAH-RAH-RAISINS- Another relatively new addition to the Girl Scouts cookie family

And some other cookie-related trademarks….

• GIRL SCOUT COOKIES for “cookies” (claimed first use date in 1936) • GIRL SCOUT COOKIE SALE for “charitable fundraising services featuring the sale of cookies” (claimed first use date in 1938) • OPERATION TASTE OF HOME for “charitable services, namely, providing cookies to US military troops serving overseas”

Enjoy your cookies!

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For more information on this topic, please visit our Trademark Protection service page, which is part of our Trademark practice.

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