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News18 » Tech
1-min read

Netflix Hit With a Lawsuit by Choose Your Own Adventure Publishers, Over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Chooseco claims that Netflix has no right to use the Choose Your Own Adventure trademark.

Vishal Mathur | @vishalmathur85

Updated:January 14, 2019, 9:52 AM IST
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Netflix Hit With a Lawsuit by Choose Your Own Adventure Publishers, Over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Chooseco claims that Netflix has no right to use the Choose Your Own Adventure trademark.

Netflix’s first interactive movie, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, is in the eye of a storm. Netflix has promoted the movie’s multiple endings heavily, thanks to the interactivity element. However, Chooseco, a book publishing company specializing in children’s books, is not impressed. They are suing Netflix for infringing on the company’s “Choose Your Own Adventure” trademark, and have filed a complaint at the United States District Court for the District of Vermont.

In its complaint which is now available to read online, Chooseco says, “On December 28, 2018, Netflix released a much-hyped, and upon information and belief widely viewed interactive film called Black Mirror Bandersnatch on its digital streaming platform. In the first few minutes of the movie, the protagonist refers to a fictional book in the diegesis as a Choose Your Own Adventure book. 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 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.”

Chooseco also claims that Netflix has been attempting to license the Choose Your Own Adventure name since 2016, and even though the companies have been engaged in “negotiations, Netflix apparently doesn’t have the license. The publisher suggests that it has earlier sent cease-and-desist notices about its trademark “on at least one occasion” regarding a different TV show.

This is not the first time Netflix has run into trouble with trademarks. Late last year, the Satanic Temple had filed suit against the streaming giant, alleging that Netflix had used a copy of the church’s proprietary statue appeared in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series.

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