Book publisher Chooseco filed a lawsuit against Netflix in January following the release of the streaming service's interactive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. The lawsuit revolved around the episode's use of the phrase "choose your own adventure," which the book publisher believes infringes on its trademark.
Netflix requested a dismissal of the case on Thursday, arguing that as an accurate description of the fictional Bandersnatch novel and its importance to the story, the use of the term is therefore "artistically relevant" and protected by the First Amendment.
The filing also argued against another complaint regarding the use of a rounded and colorful border on video games from the fictional video game developer Tuckersoft. According to Chooseco, the design closely resembles that which the book publisher uses on its book covers. Netflix argued that "there is nothing distinctive about Chooseco’s borders and consumers do not associate them with Chooseco."
The dismissal brief released by Netflix ended by stating, "No amount of further amendment will change Bandersnatch’s actual uses of the phrase 'Choose Your Own Adventure.' Nor will amendment change the fictional 'Tuckersoft' company’s uses of the rounded color borders, let alone make them similar to Chooseco’s. Nor will amendment alter the First Amendment protection for such artistic uses..."
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is an interactive adventure that revolves around Stefan Butler, a young programmer who attempts to adapt the choose-your-own-adventure novel Bandersnatch into a video game. The interactive film features numerous endings, each one serving as meta-commentary. It is the first interactive media released on Netflix for adults.
Directed by David Slade, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch stars Fionn Whitehead, Will Poulter and Asim Chaudhry. It is available to stream now on Netflix.