NextCard, Providian Settle Banner Ad Lawsuit

Credit card issuers NextCard and Providian Financial Corporation have
settled a lawsuit filed by NextCard, in which the company accused Providian
of copying its banner advertisements.

The companies didn’t reveal the terms of the settlement, reached late Friday. They would only say no
money changed hands.

The dispute involved a banner ad that NextCard (NXCD) says was its most successful
ever. It features a thermometer-like illustration, on which the temperature
is dropping, that’s meant to represent descending interest rates.

In its suit, NextCard alleged Providian (PVN) violated its intellectual
property rights by running an ad that looked similar to NextCard’s. It said
Providian was attempting to “trick” consumers into clicking on the ad.

Providian denied that it was violating NextCard’s intellectual property
rights, saying that there were no proprietary rights to banner ads. Still,
Providian hasn’t used the advertisement since July 1999.

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