Toys ‘R’ Us files a lawsuit against Houston toy seller Toyz for trademark infringement.
The once-dominant toy chain recently announced its plan to revive the stores with a National comeback this fall. However, before that happens, Toys ‘R’ Us has some legal issues to square away.
The company is suing Toyz for trademark infringement, accusing the small business of copying its logo. The small business is a toy seller with three locations in the Houston area and an online store.
Farida Afzal, Toyz owner, opened the business in 2003 inside Sharpstown Mall after moving from Pakistan. According to her son, the stores coexisted in the mall until the dominant seller filed for bankruptcy in 2017.
“We were right downstairs. Same mall. Same everything. You could see us downstairs. Nobody ever came to us,” he said.
When Toys ‘R’ Us moved out of the mall, Afzal was able to secure the exact location for her store. However, in 2021, the Afzal family received a cease and desist letter from Toys ‘R’ Us. The letter alleged that the store’s multi-colored bubble font logo is too similar to its logo. The company also accuses Toyz of keeping their old decorations inside the store.
Representing the Afzal family, Lema Barazi says her clients won’t be changing their logo because they do not believe the logos are similar.
“We have a huge global corporation trying to fight and shut down a mom-and-pop shop. By having questionable allegations that, frankly, hold no water,” Barazi says.
A federal judge halted the case until mid-September and requested for Toys ‘R’ Us lawyers to provide proof showing a list of similar cases they’ve filed worldwide against other small toy stores.