Published Jan 11, 2019Viewers of Charlie Brooker's new Black Mirror film Bandersnatch have been wowed by its interactive choose-your-own-adventure story, but the book publisher that owns the trademark to that phrase doesn't feel the same way.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, children's book publisher Chooseco, LLC, filed a lawsuit against Netflix over the use of the phrase. The complaint, filed today in Vermont Federal Court, notes that Chooseco has been using the phrase since the 1980s, selling over 265 million copies of its Choose Your Own Adventure book series.
The complaint also states that 20th Century Fox holds an option to develop an interactive series based on the books and that Netflix actively pursued a licence beginning in 2016.
"Chooseco and Netflix engaged in extensive negotiations that were ongoing for a number of years, but Netflix did not receive a license," the complaint reads. "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 Bandersnatch viewers have been confused about potential association with its phrase, and claims the company's reputation has suffered as a result. The publisher is seeking at least $25 million in damages or profits, whichever is greater, while claiming infringement, dilution and unfair competition.