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March 8, 2021

Byron inventor settles with Microsoft

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An eight-year legal battle between Byron Bay inventor Ric Richardson and software giant Microsoft has been settled out of court, most likely for more than $100 million.

The dispute arose over a patented anti-piracy technology invented by Richardson and his company Uniloc.

Microsoft spokesman David Cuddy told Bloomberg News last week that the two parties had reached a ‘final and mutually agreeable resolution’.

Richardson’s technology, designed to deter software piracy, was developed in the early 90s.

In April 2009, a US court found Microsoft had used Richardson’s technology without his knowledge or permission, and ordered Microsoft to pay compensation of $US388 million (then worth more than $530 million).

The award was one of the highest in US patent history.

Microsoft had the verdict overturned on appeal five months later but last year a higher court upheld the original decision.

Last week the case was withdrawn by both parties after Microsoft announced it had settled out of court.

Mr Richardson has not disclosed the amount of the settlement but an intellectual property law expert told the Sydney Morning Herald it would likely be ‘in the low nine figures’

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