Netflix is facing a lawsuit over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch due to the movie’s interactive storytelling elements. According to a complaint acquired by Polygon, Chooseco, the publisher behind the Choose Your Own Adventure book series, is seeking damages upwards of $25 million dollars.
The complaint claims that Netflix willfully infringed on the “Choose Your Own Adventure” trademark after Netflix failed to license the name back in 2016. Apparently, Netflix and Chooseco engaged in negotiations but neither party reached an agreement.
Chooseco has allegedly sent a cease-and-desist notice to Netflix over another TV show that offers similar interactive elements, so it’s not just Black Mirror: Bandersnatch that’s the focus. However, Chooseco argues that Netflix’s recent film in particular could tarnish the reputation of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series.
“The film’s dark and, at times, disturbing content dilutes the goodwill for and positive associations with Chooseco’s mark and tarnishes its products,” Chooseco’s complaint reads.
In the show, protagnist Stefan Butler alludes to a Choose Your Own Adventure book series, which goes by the name of Bandersnatch. The implication here is that the fictitious series mentioned in Netflix’s film could be misunderstood as a real Choose Your Own Adventure book.
“Netflix is infringing Chooseco’s valuable trademark,” the complaint says. “It is causing confusion, tarnishing, denigrating, and diluting the distinct quality of the Choose Your Own Adventure mark.”