Two plush toy companies are facing off in a legal battle over a copyright issue. Build-A-Bear Workshop is suing Squishmallows, a popular plush toy line from Jazwares, claiming that their new toy Skoosherz is too similar to Jazwares’ egg-shaped cushion animals. The lawsuit is being heard in both California and Missouri, and will be more serious than a pillow fight.
Jazwares, the owner of Squishmallows, has accused Build-A-Bear Workshop of intellectual property infringement. In response, Build-A-Bear Workshop has argued that Skoosherz is simply their own version of a popular type of toy. However, Jazwares claims that Skoosherz is a knockoff of their Squishmallows and has been selling the toys since 2017.
Squishmallows originally included a fox, cat, and frog before becoming more popular during the pandemic when people bought comforting items for their homes and went viral on TikTok. They were endorsed by celebrities and now there are over 1,000 different versions of the plush toys.
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. Moez Kaba, their lawyer stated “When it comes to intellectual property rights, imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery.”
Build-A-Bear Workshop has not yet responded to the request for comment on this matter.