First Union Corp. is the latest financial company to announce that it has bought a license from a California technology inventor that has successfully sued four companies, including AT&T Corp., for patent infringement.

The license, from Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing LP in Los Angeles, covers call processing activities such as paying bills, transferring funds, activating credit cards, and creating or changing personal identification numbers. It also includes automated securities transactions such as purchasing, selling, or trading by phone, as well as customer service functions such as finding out the status of an order.

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