Supreme Court refusal confirms SAS injunction of new US sales by World Programming Limited

WPL still must pay $79 million award to SAS

The US Supreme Court has left in place an injunction prohibiting World Programming Limited (WPL) from “licensing WPS to any new customer for use within the United States,” thus exhausting WPL’s options. WPL cannot make new US sales and remains responsible for paying a $79 million award to SAS.

In April, the Fourth Circuit upheld the injunction, which stems from earlier litigation resulting in an affirmed judgment that WPL committed fraud and breached license agreements in the creation of WPL’s software, WPS. That litigation resulted in a $79 million award to SAS, which WPL has not paid.

By refusing to hear the challenge, the Supreme Court leaves the Fourth Circuit decision in place. That appellate court’s opinion stated, “Since the case was last before this court, WPL has tried to evade, in every way and at every turn, using any revenues for satisfaction of the U.S. judgment.” The court added. “… Instead of making a good-faith effort to pay up, WPL has repeatedly engaged in collateral attacks on the district court’s judgment by calling upon the U.K. court system.” 

“When WPL decided to offer a competing product, it took a short cut,” the appeals court continued. “In violation of a license agreement, WPL reverse engineered a SAS product to speed development of its own product. … This is not the sort of ‘innovation’ or ‘competition’ encouraged by U.S. law.” 

The appeals court added, “But WPL cannot participate in the U.S. market, violate U.S. law, and expect to avoid the consequences of its conduct.” 

SAS is represented by Womble Bond Dickinson. 

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