How the man in a van outsmarted Microsoft

Ric Richardson … money not that important.

He has been called a "born creative thinker" and "a man of extraordinarily high principle". Others consider his inventions frivolous and derivative. Not that Frederick Bailier Richardson III - aka Ric Richardson - particularly cares.

As of last week, the 47-year-old inventor, surfer and one-time dirt-biker stands to reap the lion's share of a $US388 million ($537 million) damages award from Microsoft, after a US jury found the software giant had stolen his technology.


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