Australian Story - Answers to viewers questions
Questions answered so far:
- Why hasn’t anyone from Uniloc featured in the Australian Story episode?
- What about your parents, Ric? Did they not have a part in your success? Why weren’t they interviewed for the story?
- Your business partner Craig Etchegoyen is mentioned but is not interviewed in the story. Is there something missing there?
- The case must have cost millions. How did Uniloc pay for it?
- The case must have been a big thing for you. Why didn’t you go over there for the proceedings?
Why hasn’t anyone from Uniloc featured in the Australian Story episode?
The people of Uniloc are a good and competent team and they should get credit for their part in the jury decision. However the enforcement of the patent only really involved a few members of the team and me as the inventor since its really about the patent and some of the facts surrounding our relationship with Microsoft over the years.
There is also the fact that the judge has not as yet ruled on damages and there is a very real likelihood of an appeal which means that all the Uniloc team including me are still under scrutiny by Microsoft and the court for possible future legal activities so discretion is in order.
I for my part completely understand Uniloc’s reticence to be too involved with stories surrounding an active court case. Since I am no longer at the company, I can make independent decisions although obviously feel it is important to take the interests of the company into account whenever I do anything related to Uniloc or the 216 patent.
But I also have a life outside of Uniloc and a deep interest in encouraging fellow inventors and Aussies who may want to give their idea a go, so I thought the time was right to do something of the depth and integrity of Australian Story.
What about your parents, Ric? Did they not have a part in your success? Why weren’t they interviewed for the story?
Yes they most certainly did have a major part in my success. The initial support, confidence despite not really understanding the technology, and their willingness to put valuable family financial resources behind me are priceless.
I cannot speak for them but I do know that my father has dealt with and been a part of the media for nearly 50 years and while I do not think that Dad or Mum questions the quality of the Australian Story people, Dad has had a policy of staying away from the media and for good reason given some of the things he has seen happen over the years.
I think this is also part of the reason that my youngest brother Sky who runs my incubation company R2 Labs also declined to be interviewed. He has the added burden of also having been deposed in the Microsoft court case which was enough to scare anyone from speaking publicly about anything to do with such a big case while it is still active.
Your business partner Craig Etchegoyen is mentioned but is not interviewed in the story. Is there something missing there?
Craig is a close friend and I have complete trust in him as he represents my interests in Uniloc. He, like my parents and my brother Sky is very circumspect when it comes to commenting publicly during an active court action.
For some reason I just feel that I do not want to live my life in the shadow of constant legal scrutiny. During filming for the story I did my best to keep away from what I felt were touchy or controversial subjects and to avoid adding to the already large burden of our legal team at Mintz Levin in Boston.
I would of liked to have heaped praise on Craig for his part in helping me find the right legal team and having the right strategy with them but there will be time for that later when things settle down.
The case must have cost millions. How did Uniloc pay for it?
The key guys at Uniloc are very smart. So the resources to fight this legal battle came together fairly smoothly. Mintz Levin are pretty much the best there is in terms of patent litigation so things really came together once they were confident that the patent was substantial and the possibility of infringement was high.
The case must have been a big thing for you. Why didn’t you go over there for the proceedings?
To give you an idea, over the last 6 years since the suit was filed, dates for various hearings and court milestones changed time and again.. sometimes moving out by weeks and months. It’s a very hard way to plan your life. In 2007 when I made the decision to start to head back to Australia the date for the trial was a distant amorphous thing.
Then when my health seriously declined after having kidney stones, I felt it was time to bite the bullet and just get back to Australia, get to the country for a period and rebuild my health. After the stress of moving and even because of the stress of the impending case, health naturally became a very real issue in not allowing me to get back to the US.
In fact the stress was so bad that even when Karen told me that we had won, I almost immediately went into a depression with physical reactions. As soon as my head knew it was ok to stop worrying my body went on and had a wind down that completely over-ruled the rush that would normally happen to most people after winning a court case like that. Things soon started to regulate but I can tell you that normal people like me are not designed to handle stuff like $300 million dollar court cases.
It was satisfying to be supported by a jury of peers but the intensity of situations like that is just not much fun to deal with especially when it is your invention that is being attacked.
For more answers why don’t you add your comments below and I will do my best to answer them there or here with future edits.