The ``cutest lawsuit in history'' that accuses stuffed animal designs of plagiarism breaks out



Squishmallows , a chewy stuffed toy brand that has collaborated with Pokemon and Fortnite, has filed a lawsuit against Build-A-Bear , which sells stuffed toys, alleging that the design of its new product closely resembles Squishmallows. . The media that reported the details described it as ``the cutest legal battle ever intensifying.''

Squishmallows is taking Build-A-Bear to court over copyright claims - Polygon

Squishmallows and Skoosherz Plush Toys Face Off in Court - The New York Times

Squishmallows is a stuffed animal brand launched in 2017 by American toy manufacturer Kelly Toys, and is characterized by its round, simple appearance and fluffy texture. Due to the popularity of the product on social media, Squishmallows has become a huge hit, selling over 50 million units in just two years since its release. The following movie is an introduction movie of the Squishmallows brand published by Toys R Us.

[Toys R Us]★Very popular overseas★Collect all kinds of Squishmallows! |Toys R Us - YouTube

Kelly Toys, which sells Squishmallows, filed a lawsuit in February 2024, claiming that Build-A-Bear's stuffed toy brand `` Skoosherz '' released in 2024 closely resembles Squishmallows. The Skoosherz product page features stuffed animals with cute round designs such as salamanders, frogs, and lizards.

A lawyer for Kelly Toys said, ``Squishmallows is characterized by its round shape, mainly cute animal character designs, and most importantly, the material is very soft and easy to crush.The Squishmallows brand will be released in 2022. 'Skoosherz is a similar product that was trying to capitalize on that popularity,' the suit claims, adding that it has earned $200 million (approximately 30 billion yen), an increase of 300% from the previous year. The image below is a comparison photo of Squishmallows and Skoosherz included in the complaint, and Kelly Toys points out that they are similar in their rounded shapes, simplified character expressions, and coloring that does not resemble the animal motif. Masu.

'Build-A-Bear finds it easier to simply copy popular brands and profit from their existing popularity than to compete fairly with their own concepts and product lines,' Kelly Toys said in its complaint. Build-A-Bear's goal is not to get customers to like their brand, but to confuse consumers into thinking it's Squishmallows and make them buy it.''

Kelly Toys' primary claim is infringement under the Lanham Act , which protects trade dress . Trade dress is a legal concept that refers to the 'look and feel' that distinguishes a product from other products, and under the Lanham Act, even products that are not registered as trademarks may be protected based on features such as appearance.

In response to the lawsuit, Build-A-Bear countered that ``Skoosherz does not infringe any trademark,'' and that Skoosherz is not a counterfeit product, but ``just a round pillow-like version of the original product.'' said.

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