| NEW YORK
NEW YORK May 9 A U.S. judge ordered a unit of
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc on Friday to stop using
a key piece of software used for its trade finance business
after finding the bank liable for copyright infringement.
U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan entered a
permanent injunction requiring RBS's ABN Amro unit to stop using
the BankTrade software within a year, and not to use it to
process new trade finance transactions received 60 days from
"ABN may not continue benefiting from its blatant and
ongoing infringement simply because stopping that infringement
will be disruptive to its business," Forrest wrote in a decision
favoring Complex Systems Inc, which produces the software and
had sought the injunction.
The ruling, which followed six years of copyright
litigation, could cause major headaches for RBS's trade finance
business, which generated $497 million (295 million pounds) of
income last year, according to its annual report.
ABN, now called Royal Bank of Scotland NV, had in court
characterized the BankTrade software as a "core" feature of its
technical platform and said removing it would be like cutting
out the system's heart.
An RBS spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request
for comment. Jeffrey Kaplan, a lawyer for Jersey City, New
Jersey-based Complex Systems, had no immediate comment.
The litigation stemmed from ABN Amro's $21 billion sale in
2007 to Bank of America Corp of LaSalle Bank and an
information technology unit that had been licensing BankTrade
from Complex Systems.
Forrest said the license went to Bank of America, but RBS
kept using the software, and a now-outdated version had become a
deeply embedded component of a platform used in 22 countries by
more than 2,600 clients, processing thousands of transactions a
The judge had ruled in March 2013 that ABN Amro was using
BankTrade software improperly. In imposing an injunction, she
said she was unable to calculate damages to Complex Systems,
which has about $18 million to $20 million of annual revenue.
RBS is expected to appeal, according to the ruling. A
hearing before Forrest is scheduled for June 5.
The case is Complex Systems Inc v. ABN Amro Bank NV, U.S.
District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 08-07497.
($1 = 0.5936 British pounds)
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)