Sunday, 24 March, 2019

Netflix's 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch' sued for possible trademark infringement

Netflix sued over Bandersnatch's similarities to Choose Your Own Adventure Netflix faces lawsuit over 'Black Mirror' and 'Choose Your Own Adventure'
Charles Bowen | 13 January, 2019, 00:11

The Hollywood Reporter points us to the complaint, in which Chooseco is angry that Netflix is benefitting from association with their brand, saying the movie's "dark and violent themes are too mature for the target audience of the Choose Your Own Adventure books".

Chooseco, a Vermont-based publishing company, which has made its name from publishing a series of interactive books called "Choose Your Own Adventure", has filed a suit in a federal district court against Netflix this Friday. The lawsuit also states that, prior to Bandersnatch's release, Chooseco sent Netflix a cease and desist request.

Netflix was allegedly in negotiations with Chooseco to get the rights to the book series, rights that it did not acquire.

"On at least one occasion before the release of Bandersnatch, Chooseco sent a written cease and desist request to Netflix asking the US -based streaming giant to stop using the CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE mark in connection with its marketing efforts for another television program".

The thing is, "Choose Your Own Adventure" is a format and phrase owned by Chooseco LLC, the publisher of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series.

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It's worth noting that Bandersnatch is certainly not the first example featuring choose-your-own-adventure styled storytelling, with various video games having incorporated choice-based storylines as well (think Until Dawn).

The company claims they negotiated with Netflix in 2016 about the phrase being used for the series. We would prefer not to resort to litigation, but given the damage that we will suffer as a result of the use of our mark we've been left with no other option.

Netflix had no comment.

Chooseco is reportedly asking for at least $25 million or Netflix's profits from the film, whichever amount is the greatest, for Netflix's alleged trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, and trademark dilution.

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