Microsoft is being sued for its Live Tiles design

Here’s a lawsuit that probably should have cropped up in 2010 if the plaintiff is serious about it. A company called SurfCast is suing Microsoft for the design and function of live tiles in Windows 8. The Portland, Maine company claims to have developed the live tiles feature. The SurfCast website says tiles it created “can be thought of as dynamically updating icons. A tile is different from an icon because it can be both selectable and live, containing refreshed content that provides a real-time or near-real-time view of the underlying information.” That certainly sounds like the definition of a live tile.

SurfCast claims that Microsoft has infringed on its patent and that Microsoft had knowledge of SurfCast’s patent as early as April 2009. Microsoft has yet to respond to these allegations. The number of litigation suits in the mobile space is certainly tiring. What do you guys think?

[via PocketNow]


  • just

    Like you said, it took them two years to decide to sue Microsoft of patent infringement, and the tiles is still consider as an icon “GUI”. Is SurfCast paying patent use for it?

  • http://twitter.com/billscarnage Bill’s Carnage

    Yeah, after reading over the patent docs, i don’t see surfcast having much leg to stand on as their patent uses almost decade old technology. The concept is the same, but data access is different. Not to mention MS was awarded a patent for live tiles as well. If they hadn’t, it might be a different scenario.

  • http://www.2girls1game.com Ashley K.

    My thoughts exactly. This is just another patent trolling case.

  • robjackson81

    Do the people issuing patents have any clue what they’re issuing? I bet a large number of tech patents are based on things that have already been patented. It’s such a mess.

    Not to mention, IMO LiveTiles are pretty much just stylized widgets. In order to win a lawsuit, you should need to prove that you patented the concept of a widget. Not even a widget on a smartphone, but a widget altogether, which have been around decades before 2009.

  • http://www.gamesobscura.com/ themizarkshow

    They’ve used this kind of tech on the Zune HD. They have had it on the Xbox for years now. It’s been on their phones since WP7 launched. If they weren’t serious about protecting their patents then, why should it matter now? Even if they had a case, that delay or at least huge oversight seems unforgivable to me.

    Especially when they’ve been saying this is their future for years now.

  • https://market.android.com/developer?pub=Ender's+Games+and+Apps Brian Ouellette

    Why the hell is SurfCast suing Microsoft!? They don’t need to. Looks like Microsoft is already licensing the patent. MS is referencing the patent multiple times here. http://www.google.com/patents/US7933632?dq=inassignee:%22SURFCAST,+INC.%22&ei=j82SUJmnO8LjiALb54CYAw
    This is of course for the WP7, but the interface is the same for WP8 and W8.