CARY – SAS is stepping up its legal battle with World Programming Ltd. (WPL) with a patent and copyright infringement suit after winning an earlier case dating back to 2015 that left WPL being told to pay SAS some $79 million.

The suit also includes WPL resellers, partners and customers. SAS is charging infringement of three U.S. patents as well as infringement of copyrights.

In announcing the law suit on Wednesday, SAS said WPL has yet to pay the money that courts said WPL owes SAS, which is a global leader in analytics.

WPL, which is based in the United Kingdom, offers WPS Analytics which it identifies as “a software platform for data science and data engineering with drag and drop workflows and coding support for SAS” and other programming languages.

“We need to protect the hard, creative and inventive work SAS employees put into the SAS system – and that our customers have invested in,” said John Boswell, chief legal officer of SAS, in announcing the new suit. “While WPL continues to take shortcuts that place itself and its customers in legal jeopardy, we will continue doing good and ethical business with our customers and partners, as we have for more than 40 years.”

Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed a North Carolina district court judgment finding WPL liable for fraud and breach of a software license.

“WPL continues to behave as if the law doesn’t apply to them when it comes to software development and innovation,” continued Boswell. “We are taking necessary actions to hold them responsible for infringing SAS’ intellectual property rights.”

In addition, the appeals court ruling affirmed that WPL violated the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, which mandates the award of trebled damages to SAS..

“Our legal system continues to validate the fact that WPL has been engaging in unfair and illegal acts,” said Boswell at the time of that earlier decision.

“By doing so, it has continued to place itself, and its customers, in an untenable position. While WPL has been trying to avoid the consequences of its actions, SAS has continued to deliver innovative solutions to its customers and partners in a good and ethical way – as we have for more than 40 years. We are a trusted and stable entity, and our primary focus will always be on putting our customers first.”

In October 2015, a federal jury awarded SAS $26.4 million in damages when it found that WPL violated the software license for the SAS® Learning Edition by reverse engineering portions of that product in order to create its World Programming System software (WPS), as well as using SAS Learning Edition for prohibited production purposes. The trebling (or tripling) of the $26.4 million results in a total judgment of more than $79 million.