Feeds

'We invented Windows 8 Tiles in the 1990s', says firm suing Microsoft

We couldn't get anyone to like them either

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Microsoft had barely got Windows 8 out the door before it was slapped with a patent lawsuit related to the new OS.

Software and OS design tech firm SurfCast has filed a suit in Maine over Live Tiles, which it says it invented. The company has just four patents, but one of them, filed in 2000 and granted in 2004, deals with a "system and method for simultaneous display of multiple information sources".

Although Microsoft has been going on about Tiles since Windows Phone 7 became available two years ago, the launch of Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Surface fondleslabs have spurred the Surfcast to take legal action. Presumably, SurfCast didn't mind Redmond infringing on its patents when it was just Windows Phone 7, but a fully rounded lineup that looks like it could make some good money is the last straw.

Microsoft's Live Tiles sit on a phone (or nowadays a fondletop or desktop) start screen and update with real time information from websites, twitter, photos, email etc.

SurfCast's tiles, as described by its website, are "dynamically updating icons" that do pretty much the same thing.

"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," the site says.

The company has complained to the court that not only has Microsoft infringed its tile patent, but it's also encouraging developers to do so by asking them to come up with tiles for their apps.

"We developed the concept of Tiles in the 1990s, which was ahead of its time," Ovid Santoro, CEO of SurfCast, said on the website. "Microsoft's Live Tiles are the centrepiece of its new operation systems and are covered by our patent."

Microsoft had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.