Following the recent killing of its location scout in rural Mexico, Netflix has even more bad news surrounding its popular series Narcos.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the family of Pablo Escobar are threatening to sue the company to the tune of $1 billion claiming trademark infringement.
Escobar Inc., the company owned by Escobar’s brother Roberto de Jesus Escobar Gaviria, sent a letter to Netflix last year, demanding that it end production of Season 2 until they come to an agreement. Furthermore, the family is demanding a $1 billion payment for intellectual property violations, after Netflix used the drug kingpin’s name and story without their permission.
Roberto recently spoke to THR, saying he will “close their little show” if Netflix doesn’t fork over the cash. “Netflix are scared,” he said. “They sent us a long letter to threaten us.”
Furthermore, regarding the recent death of the Narcos location scout, he said the show’s producers are not cut out to film in cartel-infested areas of Mexico and Colombia. He also suggested the prooduction team would benefit from the hiring of “hitmen … as security.”
In a letter from Netflix to Escobar Inc., which was prepared and sent in late July by Los Angeles firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP and obtained byTHR, the company calls Escobar’s claims “fraudulent.”
Lawyers for Narcos Productions, LLC (NPL) said that without their “knowledge or consent, on Aug. 20, 2016, Escobar filed use-based applications to register the marks NARCOS and CARTEL WARS with the [U.S. Patent and Trademark Office] covering a range of goods and services” — including everything from “downloadable ring tones” and “sunglasses, decorative magnets” to “temporary tattoos, bookmarks and sheet music,” according to the trademark application documents included with the letter.
“Escobar claims that it has used NARCOS in connection with things like ‘operating a website’ and ‘game services provided online from a computer network’ since Jan. 31, 1986. However, the internet had not been developed for widespread consumer use in 1986, nor was the capability to provide audiovisual works nor game services available at that time,” Netflix’s letter stated.
Lawyers for Netflix have threatened to sue the Escobar family as well.