Netflix sued for trademark infringement by 'Choose Your Own Adventure' publishers

Book Publisher Sues Netflix Over Black Mirror Bandersnatch Episode

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is available to stream on Netflix.

The lawsuit reveals that Netflix previously negotiated with Chooseco for the rights to "Choose Your Own Adventure" but a deal wasn't struck.

The publisher of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series, Chooseco LLC, has claimed that the film infringes on the book's trademarks, reports Variety.

Netflix is in hot water for allegedly using a trademarked phrase in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. "The misappropriation of the trademark without permission puts Chooseco in a hard situation as the graphic and offensive nature of the content is particularly damaging for fans of the series young and old, and tarnishes the mark".

Bandersnatch, directed by Charlie Brooker, was released in December a year ago and allows the viewer to chose their own destiny during the film, where they ultimately go on to pick their own ending.

Business Framework- Scholar
Business Framework- Scholar

Chooseco says Netflix "used the mark willfully and intentionally to capitalize on viewers' nostalgia for the original book series from the 1980s and 1990s".

According to the lawsuit, Netflix is benefitting from an association with the Choose Your Own Adventure brand, with Bandersnatch widely discussed in the media as being connected to the phrase.

Chooseco claims Netflix came looking for a license to use their trademark in 2016, but negotiations fell apart. The popular book series sent children on many fantastical adventures, like time travel through space or in search of the abominable snowman. Based on this claim of alleged infringement, Chooseco is seeking $25 million in damages. 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".

"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", Chooseco co-founder and publisher Shannon Gilligan said in a press release.

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