Build-A-Bear and Warren Buffett's 'Squishmallows' maker square off in court

Stuffed toy-makers Build-A-Bear, Jazwares file dueling lawsuits

A stuffed animal fight is on, and it's playing out in the courtroom.

Squishmallow maker Jazwares, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, sued rival Build-A-Bear on Monday for allegedly ripping off its designs. Build-A-Bear fired back with a lawsuit of its own the same day.

Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Warren Buffett speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, on Aug. 30, 2017. Berkshire-owned Jazwares sued Build-A-Bear on Monday for allegedly copying its Squishmallow designs. (Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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BRK.B BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC. 405.24 +5.63 +1.41%

Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. Class B

In its complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court, Jazwares accused Build-A-Bear of infringing on its intellectual property rights with its new Skoosherz line of toys, saying the company "blatantly and intentionally" undermined its goodwill and created substantial confusion among consumers by copying Squishmallows' look and feel.

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Jazwares, which Berkshire has owned since purchasing its parent company, Alleghany in October 2022, is seeking an order for Build-A-Bear to stop making Skoosherz and to pay them three times the unspecified damages.

Squishmallows toys on display including a pink and blue owl, green frog with rainbow belly, and an antelope

Squishmallows at Fora - Spitalfields in London during the unveiling of the annual DreamToys list compiled by an independent panel of retailers who predict the top Christmas toys for the year. (James Manning/PA Images via / Getty Images)

Build-A-Bear said in its lawsuit in St. Louis federal court that Squishmallows lack a consistent look and feel, and Skoosherz are simply the most recent type of "soft, pillow-like squishie-type" toys that have been trending for years.

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Build-A-Bear wants a court declaration that it did not infringe Jazwares' "trade dress" rights in Squishmallows, and that any such rights are unenforceable.

A Build-A-Bear workshop in Colorado

Lone Tree, Colorado, Police help at the front door of the Build-A-Bear store as lines stretched almost all the way around the second floor of Park Meadows Mall. (Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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BBW BUILD A BEAR WORKSHOP INC 28.19 +0.65 +2.36%

Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.

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Neither Build-A-Bear nor its lawyers immediately responded to requests for additional comment.

Reuters contributed to this report.