VantageScore Solutions, the company that produces VantageScore, a generic credit score developed as a joint venture among the three national credit reporting companies (CRCs), announced that a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued a decision rejecting an appeal filed by Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO).
The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision vindicates VantageScore again by affirming all earlier outcomes, including a July 2009 grant of summary judgment by Judge Ann D. Montgomery of the U.S. District Court of Minnesota and a November 2009 federal jury verdict.
In July 2009, Judge Montgomery rejected as a matter of law FICO’s claims of anti-competitive behavior, false advertising, and unreasonable and illegal restraint of trade. The Eight Circuit affirmed that ruling in its entirety.
In November 2009, the federal jury determined that FICO had no trademark rights in its scoring range, and therefore that the VantageScore® numeric range could not constitute trademark infringement, another determination affirmed by the Eighth Circuit. As a result, the District Court’s order to cancel FICO’s trademark registration of the numerical scale of 300 – 850 remains in place.
“I’m extremely gratified to put this lawsuit behind us and I look forward to an open market free from the encumbrance of litigation,” said Barrett Burns, president and CEO of VantageScore Solutions. “This is a complete victory and ultimately consumers and lenders will benefit from healthy competition in the credit scoring marketplace as VantageScore has already raised the bar for credit scores in terms of predictiveness, inclusiveness, and consistency.”
FICO filed the lawsuit in October 2006 following the launch of the VantageScore credit scoring model by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, claiming the three credit reporting companies, along with VantageScore Solutions, were engaging in unfair and anticompetitive practices that would harm the FICO credit score brand.
The VantageScore® system is used by numerous lenders, making billions of decisions annually, including four of the top five financial institutions, five of the top five credit card issuers, two of the top five auto lenders, and one of the top five mortgage lenders. Recent media reports disclosed that banking giant Chase adopted VantageScore® in January of 2011. Secondary market participants including Fitch and S&P also rate securitized loan package issues using VantageScore®.
About VantageScore Solutions
Stamford, Conn.-based VantageScore Solutions, LLC (www.vantagescore.com) is an independently managed company that holds the intellectual property rights to VantageScore, a new generic scoring model introduced in March 2006. Created by America’s three major credit reporting companies (CRCs) ” Equifax, Experian and TransUnion ” VantageScore’s highly predictive model uses an innovative, patent-pending scoring methodology to provide lenders with a more consistent interpretation of consumer credit files across all three major credit reporting companies and the ability to score more people.