Netflix faces trademark suit over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Publisher of the Choose Your Own Adventure series doesn't want anything to do with Bandersnatch.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
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Screenshot of the interactive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, presented in a trademark lawsuit. 

Screenshot by Marrian Zhou/CNET

Netflix's hit thriller Black Mirror: Bandersnatch now has another twist: a lawsuit.

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

In the film, the protagonist is trying to adapt a fictional choose-your-own-adventure book called Bandersnatch into a video game. The lawsuit alleges that Netflix is using the phrase "choose your own adventure," which is a registered trademark of Chooseco, without permission. The movies' "dark and, at times, disturbing content" also tarnishes the Choose Your Own Adventure brand, the suit alleges.

"The use of Choose Your Own Adventure in association with such graphic content is likely to cause significant damage, impacting our book sales and affecting our ability to work with licensing partners in the future," said Shannon Gilligan, co-founder and publisher of Chooseco, in a release. "We have received an unprecedented amount of outreach from people who believed we were associated with the creation of this film, including parents who were concerned."

Netflix declined to comment.

The popular on-demand video streaming service premiered Black Mirror: Bandersnatch in December last year. The interactive film has more than 1 trillion possible permutations of its story, but the movie has "five main endings" that viewers can end up with, according to Netflix.

Chooseco printed over 620,000 copies of its Choose Your Own Adventure series for distribution across the nation last year, according to the lawsuit. The book series has also been licensed for translation and distribution in 27 other countries.

Chooseco is seeking a jury trial and at least $25 million in damages.