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Society & Culture
Virtual Legality Episode 185

Netflix: "Choose Your Own Adventure" is Too Generic to Live

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1y Mar 4, 2020
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Netflix's Black Mirror episode "Bandersnatch", was interesting, frustrating, and award winning in (mostly) equal measure. But was it a "Choose Your Own Adventure"? The owners of that particular trademark, ChooseCo LLC, certainly don't think so, and by suing Netflix for it's use of the term, they have made their displeasure known.

Now, having failed to get the suit kicked out of court, Netflix has decided to raise the stakes, filing a counterclaim that the "Choose Your Own Adventure" trademark is generic by its very nature, and that ChooseCo's rights to the same should be cancelled by the court.

What does this kind of "genericide" mean in the law? How does it work?

Why is it being used by Netflix (and why now)?

And how is this escalation being used by Netflix to encourage ChooseCo to either drop or settle their lawsuit?

The analysis is neither generic nor frumious...in Virtual Legality.

#Netflix #ChooseYourOwnAdventure #Genericide


Discussed in this episode:

"Netflix Seeks Cancellation of "Choose Your Own Adventure" Trademark in 'Bandersnatch' Dispute"
The Hollywood Reporter - February 26, 2020 - Ashley Cullins
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/netflix-seeks-cancellation-choose-your-own-adventure-trademark-bandersnatch-dispute-1281305

"Netflix hit with a Choose Your Own Adventure lawsuit over Black Mirror: Bandersnatch"
Polygon - January 11, 2019 - Austen Goslin
https://www.polygon.com/2019/1/11/18178615/netflix-black-mirror-lawsuit-choose-your-own-adventure-bandersnatch-chooseco

"Bandersnatch Netflix Chooseco lawsuit"
Filed: January 11, 2019
https://www.scribd.com/document/397269756/Bandersnatch-Netflix-Chooseco-lawsuit

"Trademark, Patent, or Copyright?"
USPTO Website
https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-getting-started/trademark-basics/trademark-patent-or-copyright

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE Trademark
USPTO Website
https://tsdr.uspto.gov/#caseNumber=2913403&caseSearchType=US_APPLICATION&caseType=DEFAULT&searchType=statusSearch

"Remedies; infringement; innocent infringement by printers and publishers"
15 USC 1114
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/1114

"False designations of origin, false descriptions, and dilution forbidden"
15 USC 1125
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/1125

"Netflix Loses Bid to Dismiss $25 Million Lawsuit Over 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch'"
The Hollywood Reporter - February 11, 2020 - Eriq Gardner
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/netflix-loses-bid-dismiss-25-million-lawsuit-black-mirror-bandersnatch-1278701

"Cancellation of registration"
15 USC 1064
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/1064

"Elliott v. Google, Inc."
9th Circuit Decision 2017
https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/appellate-courts/ca9/15-15809/15-15809-2017-05-16.html

"Choose Your Own Adventure"
Wikipedia Entry
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choose_Your_Own_Adventure

"Star Wars: The Judicial Opinions"
Mallory Law Office Blog - January 5, 2016
http://mallorylawoffice.blogspot.com/2016/01/star-wars-judicial-opinions.html

ALSO REFERENCED:

"Black Mirror: Bandersnatch - Postmortem (Hoeg Law)"
YouTube Video - December 30, 2018 - Hoeg Law
https://youtu.be/JqZX3bcCdAI


"Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).

CHECK OUT THE REST OF VIRTUAL LEGALITY HERE:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1zDCgJzZUy9YAU61GoW-00K0TJOGnPCo

DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.


Blog: hoeglaw.wordpress.com

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About Hoeg Law

The Hoeg Law Firm is a business law firm with big law experience and a small firm approach focusing on start-ups, technology, financing, and everything else a business might need.


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