Ric Richardson is an Australian inventor. He is the holder of multiple granted patents including the Uniloc patent US5490216 and the Logarex patent 6400293. Although he spent twelve years in California to promote and develop products produced by Uniloc, Richardson grew up in Sydney and currently resides just outside Byron Bay.
He is the founder of Uniloc, a company based on the technology he first patented in 1992. The machine fingerprinting technology is used to stop copyright infringement; it was developed as Richardson worked on his own software called One-Step. He is an independent inventor with a role as founder of a number of companies that were built from his technologies. These include Haven and Quickpay.
Richardson began tinkering with bicycle design in the mid-1970s. Richardson and one of his brothers are the progenitors of the "shade saver" sunglass cords used to keep sunglasses on the wearer.
Microsoft court caseUniloc was awarded US$388 million in a lawsuit against Microsoft for their infringement of a product activation patent held by Uniloc. The application before the court to go to trial was originally blocked by a summary judgement for Microsoft. Uniloc appealed the ruling, eventually sending the case to a federal appeals court in 2008.
Microsoft products Windows XP, Office XP, and Windows Server 2003 were found to infringe the Uniloc patent by a federal jury in Rhode Island. They found that damages were due and Microsoft's conduct was willful. On 30 September 2009, The Melbourne Age reported that US District Judge William Smith "vacated" the jury's verdict and ruled in favour of Microsoft. This ruling was appealed and won by Uniloc. Microsoft then agreed to finally settle out of court, paying an undisclosed amount in compensation to Richardson.
Profile as an Australian InventorAs a result of the publicity surrounding the case, Richardson has been the subject of two Australian Story episodes. The first called "The Big Deal". The Big Deal aired in August 2009 and covered the initial win of $388 million by a jury in Rhode Island. The second was entitled "A Done Deal". A Done Deal aired in April 2012 and covered the subsequent ups and down that followed the original story culminating in the eventual settlement with Microsoft.
Richardson has become well known since the airing of these two shows for his practice of helping inventors with their inventions on Friday mornings to help them get protection for their ideas and to give them some pointers on going in the right direction.