Thursday, November 1, 2012

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) faces patent lawsuit over Live Tiles

SurfCast, a Portland, Maine based company, filed a lawsuit against Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT), alleging that the latter had used one of the patented products of the former, which is, the Live Tiles idea, which, SurfCast said, was theirs, and which they had come up with, during the later part of the 1990s. the live tiles feature has become common in the more recent Windows operating systems, both for PCs and tablets, as well as for smartphones.

The Live tiles appear on the start screen of the device, and the user can link different kinds on web content to the tiles, upon which, they will receive regular, real time information about the topics in those links. These tiles are dynamic in nature, and they have become quite popular in the Windows operating systems, specially the new ones. However, SurfCast filed the lawsuit in a U.S District Court in Maine on Tuesday, demanding that Microsoft admit to the infringement and pay up, for damages, as well the costs incurred for the lawsuit.

SurfCast was given the patent for the live tiles idea in 2004, as patent number - 6,724,403 which states the “System and Method for Simultaneous Display of Multiple Information Sources". The company is sure about the fact that Microsoft has infringed its patented product, despite being aware of the fact that the product was a patented one. And the company thinks that it is only fair to be compensated for the use of its product.  The live tiles feature has become very common on the interface of the new operating systems by Windows. The company pressing the charges, SurfCast is also a designer of operating systems.

The windows 8 operating system, and especially the new Windows Phone 8 operating system has been creating quite a stir, even though its ecosystem is not half as strong as that of the Apple operating software, or the Android operating software, which is by Google. Even so, with the launch of the new operating system, the live tiles became a very prominent feature of the interface, and the lawsuit can pose quite a problem for Microsoft. 

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