Aurora World, Inc., Ty, Inc. Take Copyright Case to Trial

Ty Agrees to Stop Offering Product and Remove Images from U.S. Retail Stores

Ty's Beanie Boos(TM) characters are a strikingly similar imitation of Aurora's YooHoo & Friends(TM) characters (pictured). (Photo: Business Wire)

PICO RIVERA, Calif.--()--Aurora World, Inc., a toy and gift manufacturer that filed a federal copyright lawsuit against competitor and Beanie Baby maker Ty, Inc. alleging that Ty’s Beanie Boos™ infringe on YooHoo & Friends™, announced that Ty agreed to stop offering “Bubblegum” and “Cleo” for sale at retail in the United States. Ty stated that it has never sold and will not sell “Bubblegum” and “Cleo” and it will pull images of “Bubblegum” and “Cleo” from all displays and point of purchase (POP) materials nationwide. As for the remaining products in Ty’s Beanie Boos line, the judge ruled that the fate of these products and allegations would be determined at trial, but no date has been set. A photo comparing the two product lines is available here.

Aurora alleges Ty violated the Lanham Act and California Business and Professions Code, as well as common law misappropriation and unfair competition. Aurora’s YooHoo & Friends™ were created and based from endangered animals to help educate children and collectors about endangered species and their natural habitats. Aurora officially introduced the fluffy, big-eyed and whimsical plush animals in the United States around July of 2006. Since then, the line has expanded to include various sizes and themes, with more than 50 SKUs available at retail heading into 2010.

Aurora’s documents include images comparing certain YooHoo & Friends™ characters with “Bubblegum” and “Cleo” Beanie Boos™, strikingly similar imitations of the YooHoo & Friends™ characters. Aurora contends that, “Ty’s unlawful imitations of the YooHoo & Friends products and blatant infringement are damaging Aurora, not only by causing actual confusion and likelihood of confusion in the marketplace…but also by diminishing the value of the YooHoo & Friends products by diluting their distinct and unique nature and erroneously associating them with Ty rather than Aurora.”

About Aurora

Aurora World, Inc. is a leading manufacturer and supplier of high quality, competitively priced plush toys and gifts. Aurora’s name reflects its extensive product lines and growing influence in the worldwide marketplace, as well as its international manufacturing, R&D and distribution resources. Founded in 1992, the U.S. company has ascended quickly to become a respected leader in the world’s toy and gift industry. Aurora created one of the nation’s best selling plush lines - YooHoo & Friends™ - and its corresponding free, interactive web site (www.yoohoofriends.com), appealing to young children and tweens alike. The company sells its products via a wide variety of retailers including major zoos, high-end toy stores such as Learning Express, top gift chains such as Hallmark and Claire’s as well as hospital gift shops, fine florists, candy stores and gift/stationery stores worldwide.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6180475&lang=en

Contacts

Tellem Worldwide, Inc.
Dan Grody, 310-313-3444
dgrody@tellem.com

Release Summary

Aurora World, Inc., Ty, Inc. take copyright case to trial. Beanie Baby maker Ty agrees to stop offering product and remove images from U.S. retail stores

Contacts

Tellem Worldwide, Inc.
Dan Grody, 310-313-3444
dgrody@tellem.com