Childrens' book publisher Chooseco have filed the suit against the streaming service
The interactive movie, which was released on the streaming service on December 28, invites viewers to make choices on the overall outcome of the plot, influencing the story and its characters at various points during the film.
Chooseco, LLC, the childrens’ book publisher which owns the trademark to “Choose Your Own Adventure”, has now taken legal action against Netflix over the use of the trademark in Bandersnatch.
As reported in The Hollywood Reporter, legal papers filed in Vermont today (January 11) state that 20th Century Fox currently holds an options contract that would allow them to develop an interactive series based on the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series. However, in 2016, Netflix began to actively pursue a license from Chooseco.
“Chooseco and Netflix engaged in extensive negotiations that were ongoing for a number of years, but Netflix did not receive a license,” the complaint states. “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 cite one scene from Bandersnatch in particular where the central character Stefan tells his father that the fictional book that he plans to turn into a video game is “a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book.”
The publisher claims that they may have suffered harm to their reputation through its association with Black Mirror, and are claiming infringement, dilution, and unfair competition. Chooseco are seeking at least $25 million in damages or Netflix’s profits, (whichever is greater), while they’re also seeking injunctive relief.
Netflix have yet to publicly respond to the lawsuit. NME has contacted representatives of Netflix for further comment.
Chooseco have been using the “Choose Your Own Adventure” trademark since the 1980s, selling over 265 million copies of the series.
Earlier this week, Netflix revealed to Bandersnatch fans the existence of yet another secret ending.