In a legal battle over copyright infringement, two plush toy companies are preparing for a fight. Build-A-Bear Workshop is suing Jazwares in California for allegedly copying their egg-shaped cushion animals with Squishmallows. Meanwhile, Jazwares is filing a lawsuit against Build-A-Bear in Missouri, claiming that Skoosherz is a knockoff of their Squishmallows and has been selling them since 2017.
The range of Squishmallows animals originally included a fox, cat, and frog but became more popular during the pandemic as people bought comforting items for their homes and went viral on TikTok. The toys were also endorsed by celebrities. There are now over 1,000 different versions of the plush toys available.
Jazwares has already filed a lawsuit against Chinese online retailer Alibaba for selling counterfeit toys. Their lawyer Moez Kaba 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 the request for comment on the matter.