Thursday, September 17, 1992

Uniloc - foundation technology for Activation

In 1992 Ric Richardson was working out how to enable his music software to be shared amongst musicians for them to try without being ripped off. Burning holes in floppy disks was one way and trying to hide secret files on hard disks was another. Ric wondered "could a license be locked to a specific computer?".

He asked Apple computers developer relations manager if every Mac was the same and was there anything unique to each Mac that he could lock the software too... he said "no". Ric went home, researched SCSI drives and found out they have a unique damage map that decays over time and use... "the rest" as they say "is history".

Ric's Mum and Dad loaned him the money to pay for the patent and within 6 months Uniloc was in a 4 year exclusive distribution deal with IBM.

16 years later, software Activation and machine locking is being used everywhere from software downloads to securing traffic light control data. In the middle of all this is the company Ric started in November 1992, Uniloc. In 2003, Ric and his business partner Craig Etchegoyen founded Uniloc USA as the sole licensee of Uniloc technology and patents for the US.