‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ lands Netflix in trademark lawsuit

  • ‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ lands Netflix in trademark lawsuit

‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ lands Netflix in trademark lawsuit

But the publishers behind the long-running Choose Your Own Adventure series of books is claiming their brand had been unfairly used.

In Bandersnatch, a young programmer is adapting a famous and mysterious choose your own adventure novel into a video game, which sends him down a plight of morality and effect as he digs deeper and deeper into the meaning of free will.

The website reported that Netflix initially requested the license to the adventure series but were never granted permission to use it.

Chooseco and Netflix had been involved in negotiations for a number of years, but Netflix ultimately was not granted a license to the trademarked phrase. Chooseco filed a lawsuit in federal court today, saying that Netflix infringed on their trademark and is "causing confusion, tarnishing, denigrating, and diluting the distinct quality of the Choose Your Own Adventure mark".

After all, what if some poor child thought they were watching a Choose Your Own Adventure movie and ended up in that game designer's dark and twisty world?

The publisher said it has registered the use of the phrase in movies, books and other forms of media.

For the three or four people as yet unfamiliar with Bandersnatch, the feature-length episode is set in 1984, and deals with a young video game programmer named Stefan who pitches his demo for an adventure game based on a choose-your-own-adventure-style book of the same name to a successful game publisher. Chooseco claims Netflix's film contains scenes of "extreme physical violence, murder, drug use and a choice about the death of a child", which is something it does not wish its books be associated with. A character even says "it's a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book".

Chooseco added that 20th Century Fox now holds an "options contract to develop an interactive series" and that Netflix has been actively pursuing the licence since 2016.

When contacted by Pitchfork, representatives for Netflix offered no comment. Based on this claim of alleged infringement, Chooseco is seeking $25 million in damages.