Ronald A. Katz

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Ronald A. Katz (born March 10, 1936)[1][2] is an inventor and president of Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing LP. His inventions are primarily in the field of automated call center technology. Katz has developed a portfolio of more than 50 US patents covering his innovations. His inventions are related to toll free numbers, automated attendant, automated call distribution, voice response unit, computer telephone integration and speech recognition.[3]

As a philanthropist and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center board member, Ronald Katz helped launch UCLA Operation Mend.

Katz is the son of late musician and comedian Mickey Katz, brother of Academy Award-winning actor Joel Grey, and uncle to actress and Dirty Dancing star Jennifer Grey.

Inventor and entrepreneur[edit]

In 1961, Katz co-founded Telecredit, Inc. This was the first company to "enable merchants to verify consumer checks over the phone using an automated system without the assistance of a live operator".[4] In 1988, Mr. Katz formed a partnership with American Express Company to provide call processing services. That partnership later became First Data Corporation.

Katz has since founded Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. (RAKTL). RAKTL's primary purpose is to license the Katz patent portfolio to companies using automated call centers. Over 150 companies have taken a license to the patents.[5] RAKTL has thus earned approximately a billion dollars in license fees.[6] such as suing accused infringers who refuse to take a license.

Katz has also founded Telebuyer, LLC, a privately held company that commercializes inventions he made relating to electronic commerce and network-based monitoring systems. In the early 1990s, Mr. Katz developed a computer-controlled video system for monitoring remote locations, and an advanced scheduling and routing system for telephone and video communications. Mr. Katz leveraged his knowledge and work in these areas to create an electronic commerce system to help businesses reach customers in remote locations.

An associate professor of patent law at the University of Missouri Law School in Columbia and author of the patent-law blog called Patently-O, said that he generally has no problem with a patent holder suing infringers.[relevant? ][7] Similarly, a patent attorney and the President and Founder of IPWatchdog, Inc. stated that "it is probably better to think of Katz as one of the premiere American inventors who has been able to monetize his inventions by bundling his rights into a portfolio that he licenses to those who are using technologies that cover his innovation." [8][relevant? ]

His patents[edit]


The written description of the invention in Katz's patents usually runs 20 to 40 pages, but the claims run into hundreds of pages.[2] "He has literally thousands of claims, and they differ only in trivial respects. Many are broad and vague, and sorting them out takes a lot of time, causing unncessary frustration. Raus." says an attorney who asked not to be named.[2][relevant? ]Katz denies that his strategy is to overly amend and complicate his patents.[2]


In 2004, the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office ordered four of the Katz patents to be reexamined.[9] The Director determined that a "substantial new question of patentability" had been raised. Since then, certain members of the public have also filed requests for reexamination of ten more Katz patents. These requests were based on said members of the public submitting new prior art that could raise "substantial new question of patentability" as to the validity of the patents. In three of the cases, the patent office disagreed and felt that the new prior art was not sufficiently strong to warrant a reexamination. In the other seven cases, the patent office agreed and ordered reexaminations. All reexaminations were still ongoing as of January 2007.

Partial list[edit]

List of patents undergoing reexamination[edit]

Partial list of Katz licensees[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index Vol 1 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d Pfeiffer, Eric "Setting patent traps" Forbes Magazine, June 24, 2002
  3. ^ Bednarek et al., "Katz Patent Reexamination: A Change in Momentum Favoring RAKTL Targets", ShawPittman, June 9, 2004
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Bills, Steve, "Patent Lawsuit Involving Citi Seen Having Big Implications", American Banker, July 27, 2005
  5. ^ "The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. and Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. Settle Patent Lawsuit and Enter Into License Agreement", PR Newswire, January 16, 2007
  6. ^ Garretson, Rob, "Intellectual Security: Patent Everything You Do, Before Someone Else Does", Security IT Hub, Dec 5, 2005
  7. ^ Dennis Crouch, associate professor of patent law at the University of Missouri law School in Columbia and author of the patent-law blog Patently-O as quoted by Robert Ambrogi – Editor, BullsEye Newsletter, "For Ronald Katz, Litigation Pays Billions," December 2007
  8. ^ Gene Quinn, "PSEG Settles Patent Litigation With Katz," IPWatchdog, November 17, 2008
  9. ^ United States Patent and Trademark Office OG Notices: 04 May 2004
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Partial list of Ronald A. Katz patents licensed to Citibank as of January 3, 2006
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i Official Gazette of the USPTO, 2004 - 2006
  12. ^ Press Release, "Sears, Roebuck and Co. Obtains a License Under the Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. Patents". Archived from the original on April 15, 2004. Retrieved 2007-01-23.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link), Los Angeles, April 6, 2004.
  13. ^ Terms of Use