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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