Credit Card Comparison Site Sued for Displaying Rates
First Premier Bank is suing card comparison site CardHub for displaying its credit card rates and fees on the CardHub website. First Premier claims this is copyright infringement.
The suit was filed in a federal district court in South Dakota, and asks for $5 million in damages.
CardHub and its parent company, Evolution Finance, are aggressively fighting the suit. Their legal response claims, “if suits like First Premier’s are allowed to proceed, any company dissatisfied with a bad review of its products or services–whether in a website, or in a printed newspaper or magazine–would be able to bring an infringement action to halt publication of the unwanted review.”
First Premier is standing behind its trademark, while CardHub is standing on the First Amendment.
First Premier is known for having high credit card fees, which don’t exactly paint a good picture of the bank on a comparison site. Nevertheless, the case will be a test as to whether displaying rates on a comparison site violates the legal boundaries of First Premier’s trademark.
“The trademark laws are about ensuring fair competition; they don’t entitle companies to censor critical commentary online,” said Deepak Gupta, the attorney representing CardHub, in a statement.