In a highly anticipated legal battle, two leading plush toy companies are set to clash over a copyright dispute. Squishmallows from Jazwares and Skoosherz, a new product from Build-A-Bear Workshop, are at the center of the controversy.
The lawsuit filed by Jazwares against Build-A-Bear Workshop in California alleges that Skoosherz is too similar to their own egg-shaped cushion animals. In response, Build-A-Bear Workshop has launched a counterclaim in Missouri, arguing that Skoosherz is simply their own version of a popular type of toy.
Squishmallows first gained popularity during the pandemic as people sought out comforting items for their homes and went viral on TikTok. They were endorsed by celebrities and quickly became one of the most successful plush toy lines on the market. Today, there are over 1,000 different versions of the plush toys available.
Jazwares has already taken legal action against Chinese online retailer Alibaba for allegedly selling counterfeit toys. The company’s parent company was acquired by US billionaire Warren Buffett’s investment firm in 2022. Their lawyer, Moez Kaba, stated that imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery when it comes to intellectual property rights.
Build-A-Bear Workshop has yet to respond to the request for comment on the matter. However, it is clear that this legal battle will be a serious one, with both companies fighting fiercely to protect their intellectual property rights and maintain their positions in the competitive plush toy market.