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Test Coach Firm Ordered to Observe SAT Copyrights

December 23, 1987|Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Educational Testing Service won a narrow victory under a court agreement ordering a leading test coaching firm to stop violating copyrights on SAT questions and to pay $52,000 in damages.

The consent order, agreed to in U.S. District Court in Trenton, N.J., ended a two-year battle between ETS, which administers the Scholastic Aptitude Test and other standardized tests, and the Princeton Review Inc., a 6-year-old New York-based test coaching franchise that has claimed unrivaled success in boosting students' SAT scores.

Both sides claimed victory in interviews today.

Stanford von Mayrhauser, general counsel of ETS, said the key to the settlement was the admission by John Katzman, founder of the Princeton Review, that he had infringed ETS' copyright by distributing test questions from SAT and achievement tests to students taking his coaching course, thereby giving them an unfair edge over other test-takers.

"Our primary concern was to end the unfairness," he said.

But Katzman responded that the suit was simply a failed effort by ETS to "put us out of business." At the heart of the case, he said, was ETS's chagrin over his company's success in coaching students for a test that ETS has long argued is uncoachable.

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