Re: Trademarking the idea rather than the name
> That's a huge extension of trademarks isn't it?
You could maybe argue that there's parallels with Nintendo and Donkey Kong; they were sued by Universal over the similarities to King Kong, that case was thrown out of court when Nintendo's lawyer pointed out that the copyright for King Kong had lapsed decades earlier, and wasn't even owned by Universal at the time.
(Exact details may vary. It's Monday and caffeine levels are low. And that was around copyright, not trademarks. Etc)
However, this article misses out one key point, which I suspect may have been a significant factor in Netflix settling.
Chooseco claimed it trademarked the phrase in association with movies, books, and other forms of media, and that Netflix started negotiations with Chooseco in 2016 to license the phrase for films and animated series, which did not pan out
It's one thing to argue that a trademark/copyright has lapsed and/or become a generic term (e.g. "answerphone"). But it's a bit harder to argue that when you previously tried to buy the rights to said trademark!
So I doubt that Chooseco are going to try and go for anyone else, since they'll have a much weaker case.