Netflix’s choose-your-own-adventure style film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is the subject of a new lawsuit by Chooseco LLC. That is the company known for publishing the “Choose Your Own Adventure” book series that were popular in the 1980s and 90s. It claims that Netflix infringed upon its trademarks.
Netflix actually tried to get a license for Chooseco’s trademark in the past, according to Chooseco, but they never reached a deal. Chooseco has a problem with a scene in Bandersnatch where a character makes a reference to a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book and also says Netflix is “causing confusion, tarnishing, denigrating and diluting the distinct quality of the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ trademark,” and that Bandersnatch’s “dark and violent themes” reflect poorly on its brand.
I guess it will be up to a judge to determine if Netflix is infringing on their trademark or not. But this is not the only example of this kind of storytelling outside of Chooseco’s book series. There’s Sony’s Until Dawn and Mografi’s Jenny LeClue, Amazon’s “The Wayne Investigation” interactive story and other titles have all incorporated choice-based storylines too.
Chooseco said that it had issued Netflix a cease-and-desist request regarding its use of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” mark with another one of its programs. Hopefully they can come to an arrangement so we can have more cool content like this.
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