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Sears, Roebuck and Co. Obtains a License Under the Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. Patents.

LOS ANGELES, April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Sears, Roebuck and Co. has taken a license under the patent portfolio held by Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. and licensed through its affiliate, A2D, L.P.

The license covers telephone customer service support services offered by Sears to its customers in the "Product/Service Support" field of use. These services are delivered through automated systems as well as the combination of automated systems and live agents. Other terms of the license were not disclosed.

The 52 United States patents held by Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. cover a wide range of interactive technology including automated forms of: customer service, 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. Seventeen additional patents are currently pending in this portfolio.

"At Sears we work to make it as easy as possible for our customers to contact us whenever they need information or wish to place an order. We have implemented a variety of sophisticated telephone and computer based technologies to ensure that we are available to our customers. The technologies in this portfolio of patents cover certain interactions between computers and telephones that help us keep in touch with our customers," said Lance Adams, Vice President Customer Strategy and Integration, Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Ronald A. Katz added, "We are very pleased to welcome Sears, Roebuck and Co. to the growing number of corporate leaders who have purchased license rights under this portfolio."

Companies with license rights under this portfolio include: Advanta Corp., American Century, American Express, Ameritrade Holding Corporation, AT&T Corp., Bank of America Corporation, BB&T Corporation, Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless, Capital One Services Inc., Certegy Inc., Compaq Computer Corporation (now merged with Hewlett Packard), Edward D. Jones & Co., L.P., Equifax Inc., Excel Communications Inc., Fiserv Inc., First Data Corporation, First National Bank of Omaha, First Tennessee National Corporation, First Union Corporation (now known as Wachovia Corporation), Home Shopping Network Inc., Household International, Inc., HSBC Bank USA, International Business Machines (IBM), KeyCorp, Mellon Financial Corporation, Merck & Co., Microsoft, MoneyGram Payment Systems Inc., Prudential Financial, Inc., QVC, Inc., Shop At Home, Inc., Sprint Corporation, SouthTrust Bank, Synovus, The Gallup Organization, T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., The Vanguard Group, Inc., Wells Fargo & Company, and WorldCom, Inc.

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.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. With revenues in 2002 of $41.4 billion, the company offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,700 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the U.S. and Canada, including approximately 1,000 full-line stores and 1,600 specialty stores. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through sears.com, landsend.com, and specialty catalogs. Sears is the only retailer where consumers can find each of the Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End brands together -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the largest provider of product repair services with more than 14 million services calls made annually.

CONTACT: Brian Rivette of A2D, L.P., +1-310-247-8191, brivette@a2dlp.com; or Chris Brathwaite of Sears, Roebuck and Co., +1-847-286-4681
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 6, 2004
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