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Netflix is being sued for $25m over Black Mirror trademark infringement

January 12, 2019

Netflix is being sued for $25 million by the publishers of the Choose Your Own Adventure books for using its trademark in its Black Mirror: Bandersnatch film.

When a lot of people watched Black Mirror it instantly reminded them of the Choose Your Own Adventure books. Now, the owners of the trademark, Chooseco, LLC, are suing Netflix on the basis of trademark infringement.

In the complaint, Chooseco says Netflix “used the mark willfully and intentionally to capitalise on viewers’ nostalgia for the original book series from the 1980s and 1990s. The film’s dark and, at times, disturbing content dilutes the goodwill for and positive associations with Chooseco’s mark and tarnishes its products.”

Related: Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch gives us a say in storytelling. Do we really need it though?

In one scene, the main character explains to his dad that his video game, “Bandersnatch,” is based on the fictional Choose Your Own Adventure book.

20th Century Fox, according to Chooseco, has an options contract to develop a series based on the publisher’s books. Netflix, on the other hand, pursued a license beginning in 2016 but did not receive one, the suit says. Chooseco alleges it also sent Netflix a cease-and-desist letter before the release of Bandersnatch.

Chooseco wants 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.


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