Microsoft Wins Suit to Keep Live Tiles

Microsoft Wins Suit to Keep Live Tiles

In 2012, a company called SurfCast filed a suit against Microsoft that issued 52 different claims of patent infringement (U.S. Patent Numbers 6,724,403 and 7,933,632). The company claimed that it owned patents on a "computer display that organizes content from a variety of sources into a grid of tiles that is constantly updated." In Microsoft's circumstance, this is what we've all come to know as "Live Tiles" in both Windows 8.x and Windows Phone.

The case settled on October 15th, with the New York Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruling that all 52 of the suit's claims are invalid, handing SurfCast a resounding defeat and allowing Microsoft to retain and develop its Live Tile functionality.

Microsoft's attorneys responded about the ruling saying that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board "found that each claim of the SurfCast patent that has been asserted as infringed in this court is invalid on multiple independent grounds."

As with all cases of this nature, an appeal is likely, but the company may ask to stay the case pending any appeal by SurfCast of the board's decision.

The ruling comes at a time when Microsoft is working to somehow fuse the elements of the Live Tile interface with the legacy desktop interface its next operating system release, Windows 10. Constantly updating components like Live Tiles is not a new technology. Windows 7 and Windows Vista offered Active Desktop which allowed users to pin components to the Windows desktop that would content on a schedule. Live Tiles in Windows 8, though, represents the first time Microsoft attempted to build the entire operating system around it. It was not well received and Microsoft is working to repair consumer opinion in Windows 10 by allowing the desktop and the tiled interface to work together.

Source: Law360


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