Netflix's 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch' sued for possible trademark infringement

Netflix sued over Bandersnatch's similarities to Choose Your Own Adventure

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is far from a G-rated film.

According to the suit, Netflix apparently tried to obtain a license for Chooseco's trademark in the past, but wasn't able to reach a deal with the publisher.

In "Bandersnatch", viewers control the fate of a computer programmer who's creating a video game based on a fantasy novel titled Bandersnatch.

Here, it's also important to note the fact that Netflix has not made use of the phrase "choose your own adventure" in any of its official marketing for Bandersnatch, although the episode has been referred to extensively in the press using that very phrase.

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The popular "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" episode debuted December 28 and allows viewers to select how they want the story to go and get different endings.

"On at least one occasion before the release of Bandersnatch, Chooseco sent a written cease and desist request to Netflix asking the US -based streaming giant to stop using the CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE mark in connection with its marketing efforts for another television program". But the publishers behind the long-running Choose Your Own Adventure series of books is claiming their brand had been unfairly used. This idea does make some sense, considering the more than 265 million copies of the books have been sold over the years.

The complaint references a certain scene near the start of the movie, where the main character, Stefan Butler (played by Dunkirk's Fionn Whitehead) explicitly tells his father (Watership Down's Craig Parkinson) that he is reading "a Choose Your Own Adventure book". Chooseco wants at least $25 million in damages or profits, whichever is greater, as well as injunctive relief. Additionally, the suit suggests that 20th Century Fox has optioned the rights to develop films based on these books.

Netflix didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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