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

Brunilde Fioravanti
Gennaio 12, 2019

A children's book publisher has sued Netflix for using the phrase "Choose Your Own Adventure" while promoting its immersive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

Bandersnatch, which debuted last month, is a technically-ambitious feat, allowing viewers to direct the main character's actions and decisions and choose the path that his story will ultimately take. "Chooseco and Netflix engaged in extensive negotiations that were ongoing for a number of years, but Netflix did not receive a license". The movie was billed as a "choose your own adventure" tale, even though the company largely refrained from actually using that phrase in the marketing. In addition, the claim points out that 20th Century Fox actually holds an option contract with Chooseco "to develop an interactive film series based on the Choose Your Own Adventure books". When Dad asserts that the book must not be very good, as Stefan is always "flicking backwards and forwards" through it, Stefan explains, "No, it's a choose your own adventure book". It was Chooseco who initially published the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books in the '80s and '90s that young readers loved so much. The lawsuit also states that, prior to Bandersnatch's release, Chooseco sent Netflix a cease and desist request. "The use of Choose Your Own Adventure in association with such graphic content is likely to cause significant damage, impacting our book sales and affecting our ability to work with licensing partners in the future". However, they say Netflix never got the license to use it. The company has filed for at least $25 million for "infringement, dilution, and unfair competition" and demands that Netflix remove any "choose your own adventure" references relating to Bandersnatch. The franchise was extremely popular during the 1980s, growing to 184 books with more than 250 million copies printed.

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