Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Netflix faces trademark suit over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Netflix sued over Bandersnatch's similarities to Choose Your Own Adventure Netflix faces lawsuit over 'Black Mirror' and 'Choose Your Own Adventure'
Stacy Diaz | 13 January, 2019, 00:13

Chooseco, the company responsible for all our childhood frustrations, has filed a lawsuit claiming that Netflix willfully infringed upon the series" trademark in Black Mirror: "Bandersnatch.

The misappropriation of our mark by Netflix presents an extreme challenge for a small independent publisher like Chooseco. It was one of the most popular children's series in the '80s and '90s.

The big gimmick associated with Netflix's buzzy Black Mirror movie Bandersnatch is that it's very much a choose your own adventure kind of production.

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's complaint (field against Netflix in Vermont's federal court today) states that 20th Century Fox holds the development rights for an interactive series based on Chooseco books. While describing his Bandersnatch video game - which is an allegory for the film as a whole - main character Stefan says, "It's a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book".

It's an interpretive stretch that stems from the company's pre-existing animosity with the streaming service, as Netflix has been struggling to negotiate a license with Chooseco since 2016.

Furthermore, the publisher claims that it has registered the phrase in connection with movies, books and other forms of media.

Chooseco claims the "grim content" included in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch tarnishes their name and the dark themes in the film are too mature for their audience.

"Chooseco and Netflix engaged in extensive negotiations that were ongoing for a number of years, but Netflix did not receive a license", the lawsuit reads.

Chooseco is reportedly asking for at least $25 million or Netflix's profits from the film, whichever amount is the greatest, for Netflix's alleged trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, and trademark dilution.

Netflix declined to comment when contacted by MailOnline.