Advanta Corp.'s day in court with Visa U.S.A. and MasterCard International has been postponed.

Lawyers for the parties were to present arguments Thursday as to whether Advanta has the right to continue marketing its Rewards Accelerator program.

The trial in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco, has been put off indefinitely, and anonymous sources close to the case said the parties involved are negotiating an out- of-court settlement.

In November, Visa sued Advanta because the Rewards program linked the card association's trademark with that of rival American Express. MasterCard joined the suit several days later.

Spring House, Pa.-based Advanta countersued, charging the associations with a violation of antitrust laws.

On March 28, a federal court judge dismissed Advanta's antitrust claim, but gave it time to appeal the decision, while letting Visa's trademark claim stand.

"Talks are progressing, and the hearing has been put off," said a source close to the case who insisted on anonymity. "The court has been advised the parties are negotiating."

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