Netflix being sued for trademark infringement over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch 2 years ago

Netflix being sued for trademark infringement over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

They are being sued for their use of the phrase "choose your own adventure"

Netflix is facing a lawsuit from Chooseco, the company who produce the 'Choose Your Own Adventure' book series, for using the phrase in their Black Mirror special, Bandersnatch.

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Chooseco is claiming trademark infringement and damages against its brand after Netflix made the phrase a central part of its interactive special, in which viewers can dictate what happens, to an extent.

The complaint filed in US District Court in Vermont claims that Netflix wilfully infringed its trademark and damaged the brand’s reputation.

The streaming service contends that they initiated negotiations to license the 'Choose Your Own Adventure' trademark in 2016. Chooseco, however, decided against allowing them to use the expression. Since then, the publishing company has reportedly sent at least one cease-and-desist notice over a different interactive TV programme.

While the phrase 'choose your own adventure' is not used in the title of the Black Mirror special, nor the marketing campaign, there is a line in which the main character refers to a fiction novel as a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' book.

Chooseco claims that this reference suggests that the book Bandersnatch is part of the original series. Their lawsuit states that the content of the film contains "depictions of a demonic presence, violent fighting, drug use, murder, mutilation of a corpse, decapitation, and other upsetting imagery".

The original series is targeted at children aged seven to 14, while the Netflix film is targeted at adults. "Association with this grim content tarnishes Chooseco’s famous trademark," the lawsuit alleges.

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Chooseco is hoping to get $25 million in damages. Netflix has yet to comment on the case.