Netflix faces lawsuit over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Esequiel Farfan
Enero 12, 2019

TMZ reports the streaming giant has been hit with a $25M lawsuit by the creators of "Choose Your Own Adventure" over the latest installment in the Black Mirror series.

Chooseco and Netflix had been involved in negotiations for a number of years, but Netflix ultimately was not granted a license to the trademarked phrase.

The trademark lawsuit was filed in Vermont on Friday and surrounds the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books, which have allegedly been trademarked and in production since 1980. The company is seeking $25 million from Netflix, suggesting that the series specifically trades on nostalgia for the Choose Your Own Adventure brand. Complicating matters even more, the lawsuit points to 20th Century Fox having optioned the rights to the brand to produce a film series based on the books, with the suit implying Netflix's production will potentially confuse audiences. Netflix will likely defend itself by claiming descriptive fair use and that it never used the phrase "Choose Your Own Adventure" in the marketing for Bandersnatch. A decade ago, the publisher sued Daimler Chrysler for using the "Choose your Adventure" slogan in a campaign for Jeeps.

Let's just get this out of the way: I hated Netflix's Black Mirror movie, Bandersnatch. It was one of the most popular children's series in the '80s and '90s.

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"Its use of quotes and capital letters in the subtitles is further evidence of Netflix's knowing and willful use of Chooseco's trademark", they said. The lawsuit alleges that "The film's dark and, at times, disturbing content dilutes the goodwill for and positive associations with Chooseco's mark and tarnishes its products".

The misappropriation of our mark by Netflix presents an extreme challenge for a small independent publisher like Chooseco.

Chooseco, which has owned the trademark since the 1980s, is claiming infringement, dilution and unfair competition and demanding at least $US25 million ($35 million) in damages or Netflix's profits, whichever is greater.

Netflix has no comment on the matter.

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