Microsoft not an innovator, sued over live tiles in Windows 8
Microsoft did not innovate the tile interface it is selling under the name of Windows 8 operating system, claims Surfcast, which has a patent registered patent for the tiled interface.
Windows 8 operating system and devices which were launched last week as a platform for phones, PCs, tablets and laptops has been sued over the design interface. Surfcast, a Portland-based operating system development company has filed a legal complaint against Microsoft for allegedly infringing on its patents with the use of Live Tiles in its latest operating system.
According to The Next Web a Microsoft spokesperson has issued a statement saying “We are confident we will prove to the court that these claims are without merit and that Microsoft has created a unique user experience.”
The case was filed with the US District Court for the District of Maine on October 30, naming one of its four patents in the complaint. The technologies include patent 6,724,403 (’403). The technology named “System and method for simultaneous display of multiple information sources” refers to “a computerized method of presenting information from a variety of sources on a display device.” The patent number 6,724,403 has been registered in the name of Surfcast on October 30, 2004
According to the patent documents of the company Surfcast, this “invention comprises a graphical user interface which organizes content from a variety of information sources into a grid of tiles, each of which can refresh its content independently of the others. The grid functionally manages the refresh rates of the multiple information sources.” The document further says the present invention is intended to operate in a “platform independent manner”. (Image: A screenshot from the patent documents)
In the complaint, SurfCast refers to the Microsoft’s US patent No. 7,933,632 (’632) which is about “Tile space user interface for mobile devices.” SurfCast alleges four counts where Microsoft’s use of Live Tiles in its software products infringes on the ’403 patent, says the news report.
The ’632 patent is similar to the ’403 patent, detailing “systems and methods for providing a user interface mobile devices enable data and services available through mobile device to be represented as a set of tiles maintained a display space.”
Even a quick glance on the new Microsoft operating system will indicate that the interface matches the technology patented by SurfCast. The “platform independent manner” of the live tiles clearly points to an infringement of patent by the Redmond giant.
The patent documents posted by Patentdata can be read here.
The Next Web points out that Microsoft details ways for developers to create app tiles that can display information on a homescreen and so when these apps are submitted to the Windows Store, they are also infringing upon its patent.