A statement was made recently that circled w's were intentionally omitted from budget labels so as to avoid paying W.E. royalties.
I assume that was a speculation and that it's not documented. At that time AT&T (which owed Western Electric)
was massive, omnipotent company. The group of which Columbia and its budget labels was a puny corporate entity. I suspect that IF they considered perpetrating a breach of contract, that the record company's executives would've ultimately chosen not to risk the ire of the liscensor.