Warren Buffett’s Squishmallows sues Build-A-Bear over ‘knockoff’ toy line

Warren Buffett is taking over Construct-A-Bear.

Jazwares, the Berkshire Hathaway-owned maker of the favored Squishmallows plush toys, sued Build-A-Bear Workshop on Monday, calling its new Skoosherz plush toy line “knockoffs” that infringed its mental property rights.

To not be outdone, Construct-A-Bear filed its personal lawsuit in opposition to Jazwares on Monday, saying Skoosherz are based mostly on its present plush animals, and that its promoting and advertising since final month’s launch clarify who made them.

The dispute marks Jazwares’ newest effort to guard Squishmallows from alleged knockoffs and counterfeits, together with a lawsuit in opposition to on-line retail platform Alibaba.

Squishmallows joined the ranks of the world’s hottest toys after turning into a viral sensation on TikTok, and profitable devotees like Woman Gaga and Kim Kardashian.

They’ve been part of Berkshire since Buffett’s Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate purchased Jazwares’ mum or dad, the insurance coverage holding firm Alleghany, in October 2022.

Jazwares sued Construct-A-Bear in Los Angeles federal courtroom.

Squishmallows joined the ranks of the world’s hottest toys after turning into a viral sensation on TikTok, and profitable devotees like Woman Gaga and Kim Kardashian. AP

It stated Construct-A-Bear “blatantly and deliberately” undermined its goodwill and created substantial confusion amongst customers by copying Squishmallows’ feel and look, together with “formed fanciful renditions” of animals, “simplified Asian model Kawaii faces,” and “velvety velour-like” material.

“Relating to mental property rights, imitation just isn’t the sincerest type of flattery,” Jazwares’ lawyer, Moez Kaba, stated in an announcement.

Based on Construct-A-Bear’s lawsuit in St. Louis federal courtroom, nevertheless, Squishmallows lack a constant feel and look, and Skoosherz are merely the newest kind of “gentle, pillow-like squishie-type” toys which have been trending for years.

Construct-A-Bear “blatantly and deliberately” undermined its goodwill and created substantial confusion amongst customers by copying Squishmallows’ feel and look, the lawsuit alleged. Getty Photos

Construct-A-Bear stated it launched Skoosherz in anticipation of Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, to faucet a marketplace for plush toys that have been “uniquely styled for optimum hugging advantages.”

Neither Construct-A-Bear nor its attorneys instantly responded to requests for extra remark.

Jazwares needs Construct-A-Bear to cease promoting Skoosherz and comparable merchandise, and pay unspecified triple damages.

Construct-A-Bear needs a courtroom declaration that it didn’t infringe Jazwares’ “commerce gown” rights in Squishmallows, and that any such rights are unenforceable.

Squishmallows have been part of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire because it purchased Jazwares’ mum or dad, the insurance coverage holding firm Alleghany, in 2022. AP

Squishmallows have been created in 2016 by Kelly Toys.

Jazwares purchased a majority stake in that firm 4 years later.


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