Netflix has been smacked with a lawsuit over 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch' that claims it 'tarnishes' the 'choose your own adventure' trademark

Netflix's new interactive "Black Mirror" movie, "Bandersnatch," has led to a lawsuit. Chooseco, the children's book publisher that owns the trademark for "choose your own adventure," filed a lawsuit against the streaming giant in Vermont on Friday alleging trademark infringement, unfair competition, false designation of origin, and dilution. The company is seeking $25 million in damages or Netflix's profits from "Bandersnatch," whichever is greater, as well as attorney fees and costs. Netflix declined to comment to Business Insider about the lawsuit.

"Black Mirror: Bandersnatch" follows a programmer in the 1980s named Stefan Butler who is tasked with making a video game based on a "choose your own adventure" book called "Bandersnatch."

The lawsuit pointed to a scene in the movie that directly referred to "Bandersnatch" as a "choose your own adventure" book.
The suit said:
"Butler's father remarks that Davies must not be a good writer because Butler is 'always flicking backwards and forwards in that.' This feature - flipping back and forth - is a hallmark of a CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE book. Butler responds next that Bandersnatch is a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' book."

The lawsuit also alleged the association of "choose your own adventure" with the "grim content" of the movie "tarnishes Chooseco's famous trademark."

The lawsuit claimed that Netflix pursued a license to "choose your own adventure" in 2016 for films and interactive cartoons and had been in negotiations with Chooseco but did not receive one.


American Airlines and Expedia Quietly Settle Trademark Lawsuit

American Airlines and Expedia agreed to settle a trademark and breach of contract lawsuit over the online travel agency’s Add-On Advantage discount hotel program. The airline filed the federal lawsuit in Texas in October, alleging that the Expedia Add-On Advantage logo infringed on American’s long-held AAdvantage loyalty program logos and marks, and that Expedia had breached agreements with the airline in the process. Expedia denied American’s claims of infringement and contract violations when it answered the airline’s lawsuit in November.

A federal court in Fort Worth, Texas ordered that the case be dismissed December 17 after the two parties jointly filed a motion requesting that the court do so.
The details of the settlement, confirmed by the court’s dismissal, have not been publicized. The basic mechanics and functionality of the Expedia Add-On Advantage program appear to remain in place.

According to the lawsuit, Expedia had agreed under the American contract addenda that:
“In the event of a breach or threatened breach of any of the provisions of these instructions or the Agreement, American will, to the extent permitted under applicable law, be entitled to seek injunctive relief in any court of competent jurisdiction restraining [Expedia] from breaching the terms hereof without requirement of a bond or notice and [Expedia] agrees not to object or defend against such action on the basis that monetary damages would provide an adequate remedy.”


Cartier’s lawsuit denying MoneyMax from using ‘LOVE’ rejected in SG courts

Cartier’s lawsuit denying jewellery pawning shop MoneyMax from using the “LOVE” trademark has been rejected by the court. MoneyMax will be allowed to register its Love Gold trademark for its jewellery line.
This follows the long standing lawsuit as Cartier tried to prevent MoneyMax from registering a trade mark which includes the word “LOVE” for use on jewellery. On 19 January 2017, MoneyMax applied to register the Application Mark for jewellery in Class 14 and retail and other services relating to jewellery in Class 35. The Application Mark comprises the word “LOVE” positioned above the word “GOLD”, and the Chinese characters, enclosed within a rectangular device.

In the court document seen by Marketing, MoneyMax had pointed out that Cartier had failed in its attempt to register the word “LOVE” in plain block letters for the same goods in class 14. The document also said that the latter brand confirmed that it is not claiming any rights to the word “LOVE” simpliciter.
This concession was properly made as the evidence shows that “Love” simpliciter has never been used on any of Cartier’s jewellery pieces.

The judge stated that Cartier’s approach was “clearly misguided” when assessing distinctiveness, a mark should be considered as a whole and not broken up into its component parts.
The judge concluded that the Application Mark is not distinctive and is descriptive of jewellery. Apart from MoneyMax and Cartier, several other traders have also registered a mark incorporating the word “LOVE” for jewellery. These include “LOVE & LOVE”, “Love Bridge”, “PERFECT LOVE” and many more.


Man Files Lawsuit Against H.O.T. For Trademark Infringement

In an interview with a media outlet last week, the legal representative of the claimant (herein referred to as Mr. Kim) Jang Ji-won explained the reason for the lawsuit. According to Jang, Mr. Kim hold the rights to H.O.T.’s brand and logo. As such, it is within his rights to file a claim against the group should they use them without his consent.

Reportedly, Mr. Kim was part of the H.O.T. management when it was under SM Entertainment. He is also the current trademark holder of H.O.T. Notably, Mr. Kim hinted at filing a lawsuit against the group prior to their reunion concert earlier this year.

He has filed a petition with the Seoul District Court against the group and the concert organizer Salt Innovation to have them desist from using the H.O.T’s brand name and logo in future performances. Moreover, he also filed a criminal complaint with the Seoul Central Prosecutors’ Office to seek punishment for the illegal use of the trademarks.

In particular, the claimant is paying special attention to H.O.T member Jang Woo-hyuk and Salt Innovation. Jang Woo-hyuk was the only member to participate in planning the concert as well as contacting Mr. Kim to talk about the trademarks. It is suspected that the singer “actively colluded” with Salt Innovations to use the brand name and logo illegally.


Disney May Face Lawsuit Over "Hakuna Matata" Trademark

"Hakuna Matata" may mean no worries, but it's starting to seem like the phrase is anything but worry free for Disney. Kenyan band Them Mushrooms is reportedly seeking legal action against Disney over the phrase.

According to Hot New Hip Hop, the band is exploring their legal options when it comes to "hakuna matata" as it relates to Disney's trademark. While many associate the phrase with Disney's 1994 animated classic The Lion King, Them Mushrooms assert that they popularized the phrase first in their song "Jambo Bwana" which also uses the Swahili phrase.
"Disney’s first registration, as we've come to learn, was in 1994," front man John Katana said. "This is 14 years after we had first recorded the song. This song went platinum in the country. This is our national tourism anthem in Kenya. We were a bit surprised, you know, because we said, 'Hey, these guys are have taken our phrase, but they changed the tune."

"Hakuna Matata has been used by most Kiswahili-speaking countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo," the petition states. "Disney can't be allowed to trademark something that it didn't invent."
"It would be like trademarking 'good morning' or 'it is raining cats and dogs' in the case of English," Thiong'o said. "It's a common phrase we use every other day. No company can own it."


Vans is Suing Primark for Selling "Intentional Copies" of its Sneakers

Vans’ Old Skool skate shoe was one of the hottest shoes of 2018. Thanks to a rise in demand for nostalgia-inspired fashion, an all-encompassing embrace of sneakers for work and play, Van’s accessible price points (its Old Skool sneakers will set you back $60), and the 50-year old Southern California-based company’s “authentic connection to youth culture,” per FIT fashion professor Elena Romero, Vans’ sales have surged, including a 26 percent rise in sales for Q2.

As the company embarks on a 5-year plan to reach over $5 billion annual revenue by 2023, its sneakers have become a hot target for copycats.
Vans notes that “over the past nearly 40 years, tens of millions of pairs of shoes with Vans’ distinctive trademarks and trade dress have been sold in the United States.” (Note: trade dress, a type of trademark protection, extends to the configuration (design and shape) of a product itself).

With the foregoing in mind, Vans is suffering from “a likelihood of confusion and damage to [its] reputation,” in large part because “the Infringing Products [are of] inferior quality and cheaper construction.” As such Vans is seeking monetary damages, including “any and all profits derived by Primark from the sale or distribution of infringing products,” as well as injunctive relief, which would bar Primark from selling any “copy, reproduction, colorable imitation, or simulation of, or confusingly similar to any of Vans’ trademarks, trade dress, names, or logs, including, but not limited to, the Vans Trademarks and Trade Dress.”


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