Build-A-Bear Workshop and Jazwares, two well-known plush toy companies, are preparing for a legal battle over a copyright dispute. The heart of the issue is that Squishmallows, a popular product from Jazwares, is being sued by Skoosherz, a new toy from Build-A-Bear, for being too similar to their own egg-shaped cushion animals.
The lawsuit will be taken to court and is expected to be more serious than a pillow fight. Jazwares owner has filed suit against Build-A-Bear in California for intellectual property infringement. In retaliation, Build-A-Bear has launched its own lawsuit in Missouri against Jazwares, arguing that Skoosherz is just their version of a popular toy type.
Squishmallows were introduced by Jazwares in 2017 as an alternative to traditional stuffed animals. They quickly gained popularity during the pandemic as people searched for comforting items for their homes and went viral on TikTok. They were also endorsed by celebrities and have since become one of the most popular plush toys on the market with over 1,000 different versions available.
Jazwares has already filed a lawsuit against Chinese online retailer Alibaba for allegedly selling counterfeit toys. The company’s parent company was bought by US billionaire Warren Buffett’s investment firm in 2022. Their lawyer Moez Kaba stated that “When it comes to intellectual property rights, imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery.”
Build-A-Bear has not yet responded to the request for comment on this matter