Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), a diversified energy company with 2.1 million electric and 1.7 million natural gas customers located throughout New Jersey (NYSE:PEG) and Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P., headquartered in Los Angeles, today announced the settlement of patent litigation between the parties. As part of the settlement, PSEG has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum for a nonexclusive license under a comprehensive portfolio of patents that Katz owns relating to interactive voice applications. The nonexclusive license covers services offered by Public Service Enterprise Group in the “Energy and Utility Services” Field of Use, including customer service provided via automated systems and live agents. Other terms of the license were not disclosed.
Ronald A. Katz 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 reportedly developed a portfolio of more than 50 U.S. patents covering his various inventions, a portfolio he uses to the fullest extent possible. The patents held by Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. cover a wide range of interactive technology including automated forms of: customer service, prescription refill services, securities trading, merchandising, prepaid services, telephone conferences, registration, home shopping, as well as functions involved in securing information from databases by telephone, interactive cable transactions, and various other uses of toll free and local numbers. Many people view Katz as a patent troll because he uses his portfolio to go after large companies who infringe his patents, but 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.
Ronald A. Katz stated, “We welcome Public Service Enterprise Group to the large group of energy and utility companies who have purchased license rights under this portfolio.”
There are over 275 companies with license rights under this portfolio, including over 45 energy and utility companies. Companies with license rights under this portfolio include: Advanta Corp., Aetna Inc., Alltel Corporation, American Century, American Express, American International Group, Inc., Amtrak, AT&T Inc., Avis Budget Group, Inc., Avon Products, Inc., Bank of America Corporation, Capital One Services Inc., CIGNA Corporation, Chevron U.S.A. Inc., Comerica Inc., Continental Airlines, Costco Wholesale Corporation, CVS Caremark Corporation, Dell Inc., Delta Air Lines, Inc., Discover Financial Services, Experian, Express Scripts, Exxon Mobil Corp., First Data Corporation, FirstMerit Corporation, The Gallup Organization, The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, Hilton Hotels Corporation, Household International, Inc., ING North America Insurance Corp., International Business Machines (IBM), Kaiser Permanente Insurance Co., KeyCorp, Kohl’s Corporation, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, MCI Inc., Mellon Financial Corporation, Merck & Co., Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., Metris Companies Inc., Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, New York Life Insurance Company, OppenheimerFunds, Inc., Premier Global Services, Inc., Principal Financial Group, Inc., Prudential Financial, Inc., Qwest Communications International Inc., QVC, Inc., Regions Financial Corporation, Rite Aid Corporation, Safeway Inc., Sears, Roebuck and Co., ShopKo Stores, Sprint Corporation, Sunoco, Inc., SUPERVALU Inc., TD Banknorth Inc., T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., T-Mobile USA, United Air Lines, Inc., UnitedHealth Group, Verizon California Inc., Wachovia Corporation, Walgreen Co., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, Webster Financial Corporation, WellPoint, Inc., Wells Fargo & Company, West Corporation, Whirlpool Corporation, Wilmington Trust Corporation and Zions Bancorporation.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population. PSEG has won the ReliabilityOne National Achievement Award for superior electric system reliability the last two years in a row. PSEG is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company.