Published: Sat, January 12, 2019

Netflix sued for trademark infringement by 'Choose Your Own Adventure' publishers

Netflix sued for trademark infringement by 'Choose Your Own Adventure' publishers

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

Netflix is heading down a litigious path over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.

Chooseco, publisher of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series, on Friday sued Netflix for trademark infringement over the immersive film.

According to the suit, Netflix apparently tried to obtain a license for Chooseco's trademark in the past, but wasn't able to reach a deal with the publisher.

It's worth noting that Bandersnatch is certainly not the first example featuring choose-your-own-adventure styled storytelling, with various video games having incorporated choice-based storylines as well (think Until Dawn).


Black Mirror creators may have wanted viewers to choose their own adventure on Bandersnatch, but they ended up somewhere unexpected-in a lawsuit with the owners of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" trademark.

"On at least one occasion before the release of Bandersnatch, Chooseco sent a written cease and desist request to Netflix asking the USA -based streaming giant to stop using the CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE mark in connection with its marketing efforts for another television program". The franchise was extremely popular during the 1980s, growing to 184 books with more than 250 million copies printed. The lawsuit alleges that "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 is seeking a jury trial and at least $25 million in damages. And there is a part in the movie where the characters discuss the Choose Your Own Adventure books by name, so Chooseco may have a leg or two to stand on here.

Netflix, which has avoided using the phrase "choose your own adventure" in advertising, is yet to comment publicly on the case.

She also reiterated that Bandersnatch has nothing to do with the books, which were recently licensed by 20th Century Fox to develop an interactive film series.

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