Consumer Payment Card News

Providian Sued Again

Already facing class action lawsuits from consumers and shareholders over its credit card practices, San Francisco-based Providian is now facing another lawsuit from crosstown rival NextCard. NextCard announced it has filed suit against Providian Financial Corp. for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, false advertising and unfair business practices. NextCard claims that Providian deliberately copied one of NextCard’s banner advertisements in an attempt to mislead Internet users into clicking onto Providian’s Web site rather than NextCard’s Web site. NextCard says Providian did not respond appropriately to its efforts to resolve the dispute amicably. Ironically, NextCard’s CEO/founder, Jeremy Lent, is a former Providian CFO/SVP. Other NextCard officers/directors who formerly worked for Providian include Timothy Coltrell and John Hashman. For more information visit NextCard(www.nextcard.com).

Meanwhile Providian responded that NextCard’s lawsuit over the use of an Internet banner is totally without merit and that Providian will defend itself vigorously. Providian says NextCard’s lawsuit centers around the use of the image of a thermometer. Providian says it has no reason to believe that consumers associate thermometers uniquely with any company or product. Furthermore Providian claims the banner in question was tested for a one week period in July and then discontinued. As one of over 20 different banners tested by Providian’s Aria.com credit card site, Providian says it resulted in less than 3% of the web sites total visits. For more information visit Providian(www.providian.com).

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