Thursday, 17 January, 2019

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

Stacy Diaz | 12 January, 2019, 02:27

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. That basic idea has been translated into other mediums, like 1995's Mr. Payback, which let audiences vote on the outcome of the short film, and most recently with Bandersnatch, a film set in the Black Mirror universe and released by Netflix.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Netflix's experiment in interactive television, is inspired by "Choose Your Own Adventure" books.

In "Bandersnatch", viewers control the fate of a computer programmer who's creating a video game based on a fantasy novel titled Bandersnatch.

The popular on-demand video streaming service premiered Black Mirror: Bandersnatch in December previous year.

The Choose Your Own Adventure series has sold more than 265 million copies worldwide.

"Netflix has no license or authorization to use Chooseco's trademark and, upon information and belief, used the mark willfully and intentionally to capitalize on viewers' nostalgia for the original book series", the lawsuit states. The suit mentions that Netflix attempted to secure a license to use the Choose Your Own Adventure trademark over the last few years, but a deal was never officially made. From the complaint, Chooseco alleges that the "dark and, at times, disturbing content dilutes the goodwill for an positive associations with Chooseco's mark and tarnishes its products".

The plaintiff said 20th Century Fox now holds an options contract to develop an interactive series based on the books, which allow readers to influence the story they are reading by turning to different pages.

Netflix had no comment.

They're now reportedly demanding at least $25 million in damages or Netflix's profits, whichever is greater, claiming infringement, dilution and unfair competition.