Netflix’s “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” set social media on fire when it dropped and gave viewers to guide the main character through the storyline with its “Choose Your Own Adventure” interface. Unfortunately, the streaming giant is now being sued for that feature which set the project apart from its peers.
You see, “Choose Your Own Adventure” is trademarked by Chooseco, LLC, so they are suing Netflix over “Bandersnatch,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
According to the filed complaint, Netflix has been in pursuit of licensing “Choose Your Own Adventure” since 2016, but they never reached an agreement. Chooseco, LLC also claims that Netflix benefitted from using the trademarked brand.
“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.”
The Hollywood Reporter adds:
Additionally, Chooseco points in the complaint (read here) to one scene where Stefan Butler, the main character, is preparing to pitch a video game he wishes to develop. He’s explaining to his father that the game is based on the work of a fictional book. The father says the author must be good because his son is always “flicking backwards and forwards.”
Butler responds, “No, it’s a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book.”
Chooseco, LLC is suing for at least $25 million in damages or Netflix’s profits, whichever is greater.
In the past, the company has filed similar complaints that were ultimately settled. We will have to see if that is the case here, too.