Microsoft sued over use of Live Tiles in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8

31 Oct 2012

A company in Oregon called Surfcast is suing software giant Microsoft, alleging Microsoft has infringed its patents by using Live Tiles in Windows 8 and in Windows Phone 8.

The company claims Microsoft infringed on four patents surrounding a concept it calls ‘Tiles’, which it describes as dynamically updating icons that provide a real-time view of the underlying information.

It claims it conceived the grid and tile user interface more than 10 years ago.

According to The Next Web, Surfcast says these technologies were included in its patent No 6,724,403 (403) a “system and method for simultaneous display of multiple information sources.”

The lawsuit against Microsoft was filed yesterday in the US District Court for the District of Maine.

Surfcast points out that Microsoft’s own patent around tiles No 7,933,632 (632) cites its own patent 403 as relevant prior art as part of a non-final rejection dated 21 April 2009.

It is asking Microsoft to pay damages.

At its Build developer conference in Redmond, Washington, this week, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer predicted that a year from now the world will see more than 400m smartphones, PCs and tablets running its new Windows 8 operating system.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years