Build-A-Bear Workshop and Jazwares, two popular plush toy companies, are preparing for a legal battle over a copyright issue. Skoosherz, a new toy from Build-A-Bear Workshop, is being sued by Squishmallows from Jazwares because they believe it is too similar to their own egg-shaped cushion animals. The dispute will be taken to court and is expected to be more serious than a pillow fight.
Jazwares, the owner of Squishmallows, has filed a lawsuit against Build-A-Bear Workshop in California for intellectual property infringement. In response, Build-A-Bear Workshop has launched their lawsuit in Missouri, claiming that Skoosherz is simply their own version of a popular type of toy. However, Jazwares believes that Skoosherz is a knockoff of their Squishmallows and claims they have been selling the toys since 2017.
The range of Squishmallows animals originally included a fox, cat, and frog but gained popularity during the pandemic as people bought comforting items for their homes and went viral on TikTok. They were also endorsed by celebrities. Today there are over 1,000 different versions of the plush toys 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 “When it comes to intellectual property rights imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery.” On the other hand Build-A-Bear has not yet responded to the request for comment regarding this matter.