Netflix's interactive "Choose Your Own Adventure" film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch has been one of the streaming service's biggest hits thanks to the film's innovative experience and twisted plot. Now, Bandersnatch is at the center of a trademark lawsuit directed at Netflix because of its iconic catchphrase.
Variety reports that Vermont-based book publisher Chooseco LLC has filed a lawsuit against Netflix for the advertising campaign surrounding Bandersnatch, specifically the use of the phrase "Choose Your Own Adventure". Chooseco originally published the Choose Your Own Adventure books in the '80s and '90s that were aimed for young readers.
According to the lawsuit, Netflix sought a license to use the "Choose Your Own Adventure" trademark over the last couple of years but negotiations never resulted in a deal, claiming that the streaming service "deliberately exploited" the brand awareness of the book series in order to launch the show. Essentially, Chooseco believes that Netflix chose that specific marketing because it would bring nostalgia in the minds of its audience, thanks to the popularity of the books, which makes sense, considering more than 265 million copies of the books have been sold over the years. The lawsuit also notes that 20th Century Fox recently optioned the rights to develop an interactive movie series based on the books.
The suit also points out that Bandersnatch is violent and disturbing, which is considered inappropriate for the young adult readers of the book series. According to the suit, the violent imagery tarnishes the "Choose Your Own Adventure" brand.
The company is seeking $25 million from Netflix in damages with the lawsuit,