Avon Products, Inc., a leading global beauty company and the world's largest direct seller (NYSE:AVP), with headquarters in New York, and Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P., headquartered in Los Angeles, announced today the settlement of patent litigation between the parties. As part of the settlement, Avon Products, Inc. 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 Avon in the “Product/Service Support” and the “Financial Services Call Processing” Fields of Use including customer service delivered through automated systems and live agents. Other terms of the license were not disclosed.
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.
“AVON offers our network of over five million independent Avon Sales Representatives various ways to contact us, including automated telephone services and web based services. These contact methods include telephone options such as the ‘Fast Talk’ automated order entry line and the ‘QUIK PAY’ automated payment line. The technologies in the Katz patents have enabled our telephone operations to serve Avon Sales Representatives more effectively and efficiently,” said Anthony Santini, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Avon Products, Inc.
Ronald A. Katz stated, “We welcome Avon to the large number of leading companies who have purchased a license under this portfolio.”
There are over 200 companies with license rights under this portfolio, including over 25 energy and utility companies. Companies with license rights under this portfolio include: Advanta Corp., Alltel Corporation, American Century, American Express, Automatic Data Processing, Inc., AT&T Corp., Bank of America Corporation, BB&T Corporation, Capital One Services Inc., Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless, Certegy Inc., Dell Inc., Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc., Delta Air Lines, Inc., Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P., Equifax Inc., Excel Communications Inc., First Data Corporation, First National Bank of Omaha, First Tennessee National Corporation, The Gallup Organization, Hewlett-Packard Company, Home Shopping Network Inc., Household International, Inc., HSBC Bank USA, International Business Machines (IBM), KeyCorp, LaSalle Bank Corporation, Marriott International, Inc., MCI Inc., Mediacom Communications Corporation, Mellon Financial Corporation, Merck & Co., Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., Metris Companies Inc., Microsoft, MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc., Nationwide, OppenheimerFunds, Inc., People’s Bank, PetMed Express, Inc., The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., Principal Financial Group, Inc., Prudential Financial, Inc., QVC, Inc., Sears, Roebuck and Co., Shop At Home, Inc., Sprint Corporation, SouthTrust Bank, Sunoco, Inc., Synovus, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., The Vanguard Group, Inc., Verizon California Inc. and its affiliates, Wachovia Corporation, and Wells Fargo & Company.
Mr. Katz is the named inventor on a large number of patents primarily in the fields of telecommunications and computing. He also formed Telecredit, Inc., the nation’s first on-line real time credit and check cashing authorization system, and was awarded a patent as co-inventor of that technology.
Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with over $8 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest direct seller, Avon markets to women in well over 100 countries through over five million independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon's product line includes beauty products, fashion jewelry and apparel, and features such well-recognized brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Avon Solutions, Advance Techniques, Avon Naturals, Mark, and Avon Wellness. Learn more about Avon and its products at www.avon.com.