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Windows 8

Microsoft getting sued over most distinctive new Windows 8 feature

A company called SurfCast claims that Live Tiles “violates” one of its patents.

MICROSOFT IS BEING sued over the most visible new feature of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

A company called SurfCast claims that Microsoft’s Live Tiles, which actively update new information on the main screen as it is received, violates a patent it has.

SurfCast filed the lawsuit with the US District Court in the District of Maine yesterday, 30 October, The Next Web reported.

According to its website, SurfCast says it designs operating-system technology and has applied for four more patents.

The company designed a new concept referred to as “Tiles” for which it is suing Microsoft.

SurfCast describes its “Tiles” as ”dynamically updating icons,” different from standard operating-system icons for files and applications because they are “selectable and live—containing refreshed content that provides a real-time or near-real-time view of the underlying information.” That’s Patent 6,724,403, granted in 2004: “System and method for simultaneous display of multiple information sources.”

That does sound similar in concept to Microsoft’s Live Tiles, which show information from users’ email, calendar, and social networks, as well as other software and Web apps.

Here is a photo of Surfcast’s patent:

via The Next Web

In the lawsuit, SurfCast references Microsoft’s own patent, Patent 7,933,632: “Tile space user interface for mobile devices,” which the software giant received in 2011.

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