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The lawsuit was filed against the streaming giant by the children's book publisher Chooseco, LLC, with that company owning the trademark to "Choose Your Own Adventure."
Chooseco alleges that they held extensive negotiations with Netflix back in January, but that Netflix proceeded without obtaining a license. Chooseco's contention is that, in the previously-mentioned movie, the main character (Stefan Butler) is telling his dad that he's basing a video game on a fictional book. When his dad says the book must be good because Stefan is constantly "flicking backwards and forwards" he corrects his pops by saying "No, it's a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' book."
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Chooseco also amended their complaint by adding a "trade dress claim" that says that the movie's fictional Tuckersoft game company has video gaming packaging with "rounded color borders" that they say is similar to their book covers. You can see what they mean by that in the picture up top. They further say they registered use of the phrase for movies, books, and other media, with 20th Century Fox having the option to make a film based on their books.
On Thursday Netflix countered these claims by saying "The idea of a narrative storytelling device in which readers or viewers make their own choices is not protected by trademark law." They add that saying "choose your own adventure" is "a reference to the book's narrative device," and that the saying is "a common — and accurate — phrase."
As for the "rounded borders" claim, lawyers for Netflix argued that that "is even weaker than Chooseco’s original claims: because there is nothing distinctive about Chooseco’s borders and consumers do not associate them with Chooseco, they are not protectable trade dress, and, regardless, its borders are markedly different from those used on [the film's] “Tuckersoft” videogames."
As we wrote back in January, Chooseco previously sued over their trademark with litigation against DaimlerChrysler for using the "choose your own adventure" phrase. In that instance a settlement was reached.
As for the most current case, Netflix has asked that the case be dismissed with prejudice.