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This paper presents a sum-of-squares (SOS) approach to polynomial fuzzy observer designs for three classes of polynomial fuzzy systems. The proposed SOS-based framework provides a number of innovations and improvements over the existing linear matrix inequality (LMI)-based approaches to Takagi-Sugeno (T-S) fuzzy controller and observer designs. First, we briefly summarize previous results with respect to a polynomial fuzzy system that is a more general representation of the well-known T-S fuzzy system. Next, we propose polynomial fuzzy observers to estimate states in three classes of polynomial fuzzy systems and derive SOS conditions to design polynomial fuzzy controllers and observers. A remarkable feature of the SOS design conditions for the first two classes (Classes I and II) is that they realize the so-called separation principle, i.e., the polynomial fuzzy controller and observer for each class can be separately designed without lack of guaranteeing the stability of the overall control system in addition to converging state-estimation error (via the observer) to zero. Although, for the last class (Class III), the separation principle does not hold, we propose an algorithm to design polynomial fuzzy controller and observer satisfying the stability of the overall control system in addition to converging state-estimation error (via the observer) to zero. All the design conditions in the proposed approach can be represented in terms of SOS and are symbolically and numerically solved via the recently developed SOSTOOLS and a semidefinite-program solver, respectively. To illustrate the validity and applicability of the proposed approach, three design examples are provided. The examples demonstrate the advantages of the SOS-based approaches for the existing LMI approaches to T-S fuzzy observer designs.