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Microsoft rolls over as Uniloc wins decade-long war

Oz David bags Redmond Goliath

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Uniloc, the Australian software developer that has been embroiled in a decade long legal battle with Microsoft over copyright infringement, has reached settlement terms with its bete noir.

Founded by Australian Ric Richardson twenty years ago when he devised a product to prevent software piracy, Uniloc took on the software giant in 2003 when he discovered that Microsoft had used his invention without his knowledge or permission.

In 2009, Uniloc which had launched in the US, won a landmark patent infringement case securing $US388m in damages from Microsoft. However, an appeal court January found that Microsoft’s infringement was not wilful and called for a new trial on damages.

Richardson has revealed on his blog that the war is over with Uniloc and Microsoft settling on undisclosed terms and according to Microsoft “a mutually agreeable resolution.”

Richardson said cryptically that “what this means for Uniloc and Microsoft will become more apparent, but for me as the inventor it means the question mark hanging over my patent is no longer in question.”

He described the ordeal as akin to “having your career anchored on a test you did when you were a kid and someone questioning your score decades after the fact... all you can do is stick to your position and hope the truth rings true.”

He also commended the Uniloc team for its “relentless effort” to represent his interests along with the other shareholders of Uniloc as the case ran it's course. ®

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