Netflix Hit with Law Suit Over 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch'

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch could easily be described as a Choose Your Own Adventure story. The problem for Netflix is that "Choose Your Own Adventure" is a registered trademark, and Netflix didn't pay to use it. Read on for details.

Via The Hollywood Reporter.

Chooseco, LLC, the childrens' book publisher that owns the trademark to "Choose Your Own Adventure," has filed a lawsuit against Netflix over the immersive film, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

According to a complaint filed in Vermont federal court on Friday, Chooseco has been using the mark since the 1980s and has sold more than 265 million copies of its Choose Your Own Adventure books.

The plaintiff says that 20th Century Fox currently holds an options contract to develop an interactive series based on the Choose Your Own Adventure series, and that beginning in 2016, Netflix actively pursued a license.

"Chooseco and Netflix engaged in extensive negotiations that were ongoing for a number of years, but Netflix did not receive a license," states the complaint. "On at least one occasion before the release of Bandersnatch, Chooseco sent a written cease and desist request to Netflix asking Netflix to stop using the CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE mark in connection with its marketing efforts for another television program."

Chooseco alleges that Netflix is benefitting from an association with its iconic brand, and that Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, which allows audiences to select the direction of the plot, has been widely discussed in the press as being connected to the phrase, "Choose Your Own Adventure."

Additionally, Chooseco points in the complaint (read here) to one scene where Stefan Butler, the main character, is preparing to pitch a video game he wishes to develop. He's explaining to his father that the game is based on the work of a fictional book. The father says the author must be good because his son is always "flicking backwards and forwards."

Butler responds, "No, it's a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' book."

Get the rest of the story at The Hollywood Reporter.

Do you think Netflix violated the law in this situation? Let us know in the comments below.