4 April 2018Copyright

Ty accuses Target of copying ‘Rainbow’ poodle toy

The producer of a popular brand of plush (stuffed) toys has accused Target Corporation of making and selling a rainbow-coloured poodle which is “virtually indistinguishable” from its own plush poodle, a copyright-protected member of the ‘Beanie Boos’ family.

Ty Inc filed the lawsuit at the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, on Monday, April 4.

The plush toy brand bought the complaint against Target, a chain of retail discount stores, and MGS Group, which claims to operate from facilities in Ningbo, China. However, Ty said MGS’s Ningbo address, as given on the label of the infringing product, does not exist.

Ty owns and manufactures a line of plush toys under the ‘Beanie Boos’ range. One of these products is ‘ Rainbow,’ a multi-coloured toy poodle, which Ty owns the copyright for.

According to the complaint ‘Rainbow’ is “shaped like a cute colourful poodle dog, complete with round eyes surrounded by a colourful and sparkled ring, rainbow-coloured fur, attached ears, and a tail”.

Target and MGS are selling a “substantially and strikingly similar imitation” of ‘Rainbow’ which is “virtually identical” to Ty’s copyrighted work, the claim said. It added that “the design and fabric colouration between the two products is virtually indistinguishable”.

The infringing toys feature a tag which identifies MGS as the manufacturer. According to Ty, Target and MGS continue to manufacture and distribute the infringing product despite “repeated requests” to cease and desist.

In addition, Ty alleged that the infringing product has not been certified with the relevant children’s product safety requirements, such as the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act 2008. Ty’s reputation is being damaged by the sale of the infringing toy, particularly as it fails to comply with the relevant product safety regulations, the complaint said.

Ty has asked the court to preliminarily and permanently restrain and enjoin Target and MGS from “commercially exploiting” the unlawful copies of ‘Rainbow’. It has also requested profits and damages under the Copyright Act, as well as attorneys’ fees.

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories like this sent straight to your inbox.

Today’s top stories

EFF urges US Supreme Court not to extend patent damages abroad

‘Peaches on beaches’ opposition fails at UKIPO

Barnes & Thornburg hires Dentons patent litigator

WWE grabs injunction in fake merchandise brawl

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

14 February 2023   TY Inc wins challenge to rival’s computer monitor wipe | PTAB originally sided with TY Inc but patent holder claimed the board had misapplied Kennametal v Ingersoll Cutting Tool in its reasoning.