In a decision that that could have major impact on the analytics marketplace, the UK High Court has ruled against statistical giant SAS in its litigation of tiny UK upstart World Programming Ltd (WPL).WPL introduced its WPS SAS interpreter clone several years ago, offering existing SAS customers a low-cost alternative to much of SAS System functionality. SAS had claimed WPL's “use of the SAS Learning Edition product when developing its own World Programming System (WPS) language interpreter software was a breach of terms of use and infringed its copyright”. The High Court disagreed. WPL notes triumphantly that “Customers who have legacy programs written in the SAS Language will now be able to choose whether to continue with the SAS system or elect for the far less expensive alternative where WPS software provides the required functionality. “

With victory in hand, WPL will now have access to a large SAS customer base that had been effectively frozen by the uncertainty surrounding the litigation. Many SAS customers I know initially scoffed at WPL, opining that SAS would simply wear them down by outspending in a protracted legal fight, causing WPL to go broke or otherwise cry uncle. What's $20M to the largest analytics company in the world, they asked? Well, it now seems they have their answer: Who cares? David has tripped up Goliath.

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