NewRiver Accuses Morningstar of Unlawful Use of Prospectus Product

Mutual fund data repository NewRiver, Inc., announced it has filed suit against Morningstar Inc. over use of its prospectus product.

According to a release, the lawsuit alleges unlawful access to NewRiver’s Prospectus Express Web-based data warehouse and unfair competition related to NewRiver’s Prospectus Express product. “NewRiver intends to vigorously protect its proprietary interests in its Prospectus Express product through the prosecution of the lawsuit,” the release said.

A statement from a Morningstar spokesperson said the company believes NewRiver’s lawsuit is without merit and is a tactic to discourage competitors. According to the statement, it is one of four firms NewRiver is currently suing.

Morningstar said it built its document library years ago for internal use, and in response to requests from clients, recently began to offer access to that database through its Global Document Library product. “In no way did Morningstar use any NewRiver technology, information, or data to create, build, or market our Global Document Library product,’ the statement said.

Morningstar said it looked at the dates of some widely available public documents contained in NewRiver’s database for benchmarking purposes to compare the timeliness of Morningstar’s data with NewRiver’s, but does not believe it violated any of NewRiver’s rights by accessing those public documents.

“We intend to continue to compete with NewRiver fairly, in the marketplace. We will not be deterred by NewRiver’s lawsuit,’ the statement said.