Two well-known plush toy companies are preparing for a legal battle over copyright issues. Squishmallows, created by Jazwares, and Skoosherz from Build-A-Bear Workshop are at the center of the dispute. The egg-shaped cushion animals from Squishmallows are being sued by Skoosherz because they believe it is too similar to their own version.
Jazwares is taking legal action against Build-A-Bear Workshop in California for intellectual property infringement. In response, Build-A-Bear Workshop has launched their own lawsuit in Missouri, claiming that Skoosherz is simply an adaptation of a popular type of toy. Jazwares believes that Skoosherz is a knockoff of their Squishmallows and alleges they have been selling the toys since 2017.
Squishmallows initially featured three animals: a fox, cat, and frog. However, during the pandemic, they became even more popular as people sought out comforting items for their homes and went viral on TikTok while being 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. Their parent company was acquired by US billionaire Warren Buffett’s investment firm in 2022. Moez Kaba, Jazwares’ lawyer, stated that “When it comes to intellectual property rights, imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery.”
Build-A-Bear Workshop has yet to respond to Jazwares’ request for comment on the ongoing legal dispute between these two popular plush toy companies.