American Express Co. has sued First USA Bank, charging it with trademark infringement in connection with the marketing of a product called "Platinum Card."

American Express said it has owned the rights to that name since 1984 when it introduced its Platinum charge card, a product that targets affluent consumers.

First USA began testing a credit card this year called The First USA Platinum Card.

American Express spokeswoman Emily Porter said the company hopes to settle the issue out of court. The company's complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del., where Dallas-based First USA's credit card operation is headquartered.

A spokesman for First USA Inc. in Dallas said, "We believe American Express' claim to the words 'Platinum Card' as we use them is without merit."

MBNA Corp. introduced a similar credit card in March called "Platinum Plus." American Express did not target MBNA in its complaint, but Ms. Porter said, "We are watching them closely."

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