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Who Is Ronald A. Katz infographic.

Known as the granddaddy of call center technology, Ronald A. Katz invented many of the technology call centers use today like Automatic Call Distributions (ACD), Speech Recognition and Computer Telephone Integration (CTI). However, while he is widely known for his contributions to the call center industry, he may be more notorious for his legal maneuverings.

Katz has over 50 patents, but spends most of his time making money through lawsuits. In fact, he is currently earning between 1 and 2 billion off of various patents and lawsuits. Essentially, if a company is using technology that he created and is not paying licensing fees, chances are they will feel the wrath of Katz and suffer the due consequences (aka, they’re gonna get sued). For more information on Ronald A. Katz, his inventions, and how to protect yourself against him, continue reading our infographic.

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Who is Ronald A. Katz?

Born in 1936, Katz invented many of the call center technologies used today such as:

  • Toll free numbers
  • VR systems
  • Call distribution
  • Computer telephone integration
  • Speech recognition

But he wasn’t just an inventor! He also:

  • Partnered with American Express to provide call processing services
  • Founded Telecredit, Inc., which helps merchants verify consumer checks over the phone
  • Founded Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing LP (RAKTL) which owns all of Katz’s patents

Katz’s Patents

  • He began licensing his patents to call centers and by 2001 he collected more than $300 million in licensing fees. By 2005 he had earned $750 million in licensing fees.
  • Did you know that most of Katz’s patents expired in 2009?
  • Katz currently has over 50 patents
  • Katz spends most of his time making money through patent lawsuits
  • Licensing negotiations and lawsuits both revolve around “Katz minutes”
  • Katz protects his patents by filing lawsuits against companies who use his technology without paying licensing fees.
  • Katz is currently earning between 1 and 2 billion off his patents/lawsuits, based on the number of minutes the technology was used by the defendent
  • All of Katz’s patents and claims involved this technology: Toll free numbers, Automated attendants, Automatic call distribution, Voice response unit, Computer telephonic integration, Speech recognition

Defenses Against Katz

You got sued by Katz. Now what? Here are some negotiation strategies:

  • Pay the demanded fees
  • Go to court
  • Conduct telecom analysis of actual “Katz minute” usage

The most common defenses against Katz lawsuits are:

  • Invalidity
  • Non-infringement
  • Indemnification

Katz’s Famous Lawsuits

Katz filed over 100 lawsuits in federal district courts against come big named companies like:

  • United Airlines
  • Wal-Mart
  • Target
  • Microsoft
  • AT&T

What Can we Learn From Katz?

  • Vulnerable companies must identify risks early on
  • Always form strong response strategies for defense
  • Stay away from unstable patents
  • Pay licensing fees!

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