Aussie inventor still gunning for Microsoft

Aussie inventor Ric Richardson, who is battling Microsoft in a patent suit worth hundreds of millions of dollars, said he will widen his fight to include tech giants including Sony and McAfee.

Richardson, who runs Uniloc, suffered a bit of a set back recently after he was awarded $US 388 million in a patent infringement case against Microsoft, only to have the jury decision overturned by a judge.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, while he is appealing that overturning, Richardson claims his patent has withstood legal scrutiny and now the rest of the tech industry must pay up.

He said he is not in it for the money but the principle and will donate the bulk of any payout to a secret charity.

The technology involved is designed to deter software piracy.

He has filed new patent infringement suits in a Texas district court against Sony America, security company McAfee, video game maker Activision and the software makers Quark, Borland Software and Aspyr Media.

Richardson, who works out of the back of a van, said that the new cases were nothing to do with the Microsoft situation and were in fact helped by that particular case.

While the Judge overturned the case, he did admit that the patent was valid. He just sided with Microsoft that the anti-piracy methods used by the software giant were different. The anti-piracy patent alone has been licensed by companies including IBM and Sega.

While many in the IT industry see him as a Patent Troll, Richardson is far from a leech. Other than what he needs to live off, all his cash goes to a charitable cause and he says the cause will get any excess money he earns beyond that required to maintain his lifestyle.