Microsoft Sued For Its Live Tiles

The patent breakage lawsuit originates from SurfCast, an OS development company based in Portland, which owns a patent granted in 2004 pertaining to a “System and method for simultaneous display of multiple information sources.” Just from that title alone, it would sound like SurfCast could sue over just about anything from Google News to Hootsuite. Of course, the patent itself isn't quite as broad, but still not great. It details a GUI that ”organizes content from a variety of information sources into grid of tiles each of which can refresh its content independently of the others.”

It reminds me of the Live Tiles, though doesn't really look all that much like Live Tiles. But, don't get disheartened Micrsoft fans. Microsoft also holds a patent for Live Tiles, which covers “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.” Microsoft's patent was filed back in 2006, but it was rejected in 2009 specifically because of the prior art existing in SurfCast's patent. Microsoft reapplied and the patent was granted in 2011.

               SurfCast names “Windows Phone, Microsoft Surface with the Windows RT Operating System, Microsoft Windows RT, Microsoft Windows 8, Microsoft Windows 8 Pro, and Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise Operating System” in its suit, but surprisingly leaves out Windows Phone 7/7.5, which has been using this same system for 2 years now, going back to before Microsoft held a patent for the system. The same couldalso be applied to any of the now 120,000 apps that have been submitted to the Windows and Windows Phone Stores, because Microsoft details ways for developers to create Live Tiles, which means each app would be infringing when it is submitted to the store.

In return Microsoft will go to court in order to prove that its method for displaying information in boxes is "unique" compared to the method of displaying information in boxes that was patented by SurfCast.

 You can go over to and have a look at their website.
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