Feeds

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

We couldn't get anyone to like them either

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?