Ric Richardson

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Frederick "Ric" Richardson
Born1962 (age 60–61)
Sydney, Australia
Occupation(s)Inventor, founder
Known forSettling a large patent infringement case against Microsoft

Frederick "Ric" Richardson (born 1962 in Sydney, Australia) is an Australian inventor recognised for his early invention of a form of product activation used in anti-piracy. He is the inventor of record for a number of U.S. patents, including the Uniloc patent US5490216 and the Logarex patent 6400293. Richardson grew up in Sydney and currently resides in Byron Bay.

He founded Uniloc to commercialise[1] his invention, and in 2003 it became a licensing company that has sought to license some of the patents that he is a named inventor of. Some of these patents date back to 1992. The machine fingerprinting technology is used to stop copyright infringement; it was developed as Richardson worked on his own software called One-Step and later Truetime. He is now an independent inventor, and is seeking to develop technologies including ship designs, shark warning systems[2] and password replacement technology.[3]

Case of Microsoft vs. Uniloc[edit]

In Uniloc USA, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., a jury awarded Uniloc US$388 million against Microsoft for their infringement of a product activation patent licensed to Uniloc.[4] The application before the court to go to trial was originally blocked by a summary judgement for Microsoft.[5] A jury found that Microsoft products Windows XP, Office XP, and Windows Server 2003 infringed the Uniloc patent.[5] They found damages and found that Microsoft's conduct was willful. The presiding U.S. District Court Judge William Smith disagreed as a matter of law, overturning the jury's verdict and ruling in favour of Microsoft.[6] This ruling was appealed, and reversed.[7] Microsoft later settled, paying an undisclosed amount.[8]

Profile as an Australian inventor[edit]

As a result of the publicity surrounding the case, Richardson has been the subject of two Australian Story episodes. The first called "The Big Deal" aired in August 2009 and covered the initial win of $388 million by a jury in Rhode Island. The second entitled "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.

In 2015, Richardson worked with other North Coast residents to investigate the use of a sonar-based alarm system for Byron Bay that alerts beach users of the proximity of large animals in the immediate vicinity.[9] Richardson became involved with the project after a man will killed by a shark at Byron Bay the previous year.


Haventec Pty Ltd
IndustryEncryption and Network Security
ProductsAuthentication and Personal Data security software

In 2016, Richardson cofounded a security technology company called Haventec[10] with Nuix chairman and interim CEO, Anthony "Tony" Castagna. The company is commercialising an invention by Richardson that uses public keys in combination with a one-time password technique to remove passwords from being stored or used on enterprise networks.

Another of Richardson's patented inventions is being used[11] by the company to allow consumers to automatically enter credit card details using a technique that is more secure and reliable than browser technologies such as Chrome Auto-complete but does not require the credit card details to be stored on the merchant's servers.

Richardson's password-less authentication and one-click payment systems both rely on a concept of reducing the opportunity for hackers to infiltrate an enterprise system.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ABC National News announces Uniloc deal with IBM". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  2. ^ Elloise Farrow-Smith (27 December 2015). "Byron Bay residents test shark sonar in bid to keep surfers safe". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 August 2009.
  3. ^ Andrew Colley. "Microsoft patent victor Ric Richardson working on no-password security breakthrough". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 27 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Australian Story - The Big Deal - Transcript". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 August 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  5. ^ a b Renai LeMay and Ina Fried (15 April 2009). "Aussie first wins US$388m MS suit". ZDNet Australia. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 6 September 2009.
  6. ^ Moses, Asher (30 September 2009). "Aussie inventor's $445m Microsoft windfall wiped out". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
  7. ^ Moses, Asher (8 January 2011). "Inventor wins Microsoft appeal". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Ric Richardson wins multi-million dollar legal battle with Microsoft". news.com.au. 15 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Byron Bay residents test shark sonar in bid to keep surfers safe". ABC News. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Aussie security start-up Haventec ponders IPO after big wins". Financial Review. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  11. ^ Colley, Andrew (22 September 2016). "New one-click payment system could change internet transactions". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 11 February 2017.

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