BURLINGTON, Vt. – The company that publishes the “Choose Your Own Adventure” novels is suing Netflix, seeking $25 million in damages over an interactive film in the science fiction “Black Mirror” anthology series.
In the federal lawsuit filed Friday, the Waitsfield, Vermont-based company Chooseco claims the online streaming giant violated its trademark with the movie “Bandersnatch,” which was released last month.
The lawsuit says “Bandersnatch” unfairly uses a format similar to those of the books, allowing viewers to choose among actions taken by the characters without knowing the outcome.
The show refers to the gimmick by having the protagonist refer to a book he is adapting into a video game as a “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel.
“The film’s dark and, at times, disturbing content dilutes the goodwill for and positive associations with Chooseco’s mark and tarnishes its products,” the lawsuit says.
In the lawsuit, Chooseco, which trademarked the term “Choose Your own Adventure,” says its brand is a series of interactive books are still sold today. They are designed for young adults in which the reader acts as the story’s protagonist and makes choices that affect the plot and outcome.
The lawsuit says that in 2016, Netflix pursued a license from Chooseco to use the term “Choose Your own Adventure,” but after extensive negotiations over a number of years, Netflix did not receive a license.
Netflix declined to comment Tuesday.