Kiwi toy firm wins multi-million dollar legal battle over balloon device rip off

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A Kiwi toy firm has won a multi-million dollar legal battle against an American company that ripped off its product.

Zuru's popular Bunch o Balloons device has been a target for copycats.
Source: 1 NEWS

Zuru's Bunch o Balloons device – which attaches to a hose and fills multiple balloons at once – launched the company into the big time.

But it also led them to a fight in court.

Now a jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas has found that American company Telebrands wilfully infringed US patent laws.

It sold a Battle Balloon product line, including Balloon Bonanza HD and Battle Balloon Color Burst.

The marketing videos for the toy are eerily similar to that of Zuru's Bunch o Balloons adverts.

Zuru was awarded US$12,250,000 (around NZ$18m) for lost profits and royalties.

Co-chief executive Nick Mowbray says it's an amazing result.

"We're obviously over the moon. We've been fighting this case for over almost three years now.

"Of course we like protecting our intellectual property, so it's a great thing when you come out on top."

Mowbray told 1 NEWS the company was constantly embroiled in legal fights.

"We get copied all the time, so we're in multiple patent suits at any one time.

"It's almost a form of flattery, when you get your IP breached on a regular basis. It just means you're doing something right and you're creating a successful product."

He said Bunch O Balloons was number one selling toy in North America this year, for the third year running.

This year they have sold 30 to 40 million packs, around $170m worth.

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