WowWee has issued a statement denying the allegations, saying that it will vigorously defend its position, product and brand.
On Tuesday, Roblox filed a lawsuit in San Francisco alleging that WowWee’s new doll range My Avastars violates its copyrights and trademarks. Roblox claims that the dolls unlawfully copy the distinctive blocky designs of player avatars in Roblox’s game platform and were not authorized, despite WowWee’s partnership with in-game designer Gamefam to create a line of personalized dolls that match player avatars in a role-playing experience called “My Avastars: RP.” Gamefam is not a defendant in the case.
In the lawsuit, Roblox stated: “Observing the centrality of Roblox’s avatars to its success, WowWee saw a chance for a quick buck and chose to exploit Roblox’s success — its brand, its reputation, its goodwill, and its intellectual property — without ever involving Roblox.” Roblox also said it already has a deal with another company, Jazwares, to make avatar dolls, and that WowWee never asked for a similar licence.
However, in a statement issued yesterday, WowWee strenuously denied the allegations:
“WowWee believes that Roblox’s allegations are completely meritless and looks forward to vigorously defending its position, product, and brand.
A week later, Roblox sent a cease-and-desist letter to WowWee, threatening legal action if the company continued with the launch of My Avastars dolls. WowWee has spent several weeks trying to resolve this disagreement amicably and in good faith and without needing to resort to contentious litigation. Following the cease-and-desist letter, WowWee voluntarily disassociated My Avastars from Roblox.
WowWee is a company that is focused on designing and developing toys to astonish our costumers’ imaginations, whereas Roblox’s actions today show that it is an organization driven by profit and power. Roblox’s lawsuit stands in stark contrast to the values of creativity, community, and companionship that our My Avastars dolls are designed to promote. WowWee’s focus remains on kids rather than courts.
Unfortunately, Roblox’s actions are another example of a company using litigation as a growth strategy. Despite being a publicly traded corporate giant with a multi-billion-dollar revenue stream, it is targeting a family business whose goal is to provide children with another way to express their individuality through play. Yet, as parents have been teaching their children for generations, giving into a bully encourages them to bully again. Today, WowWee intends to take a stand for the creative community. WowWee hopes you join us.”