368x460 Microsoft sued over new user interface

SurfCast, a small company making operating systems, has sued Microsoft for infringing on one of it's four patents, a user interface design built around the concept of tiles.

In keeping with the spirit of tech companies suing each other over patents, a small OS developer called SurfCast is suing Microsoft for Windows 8's tile design. The company filed a complaint with the US District Court in Maine for "making, using, selling, and offering to sell devices and software products" protected by the SurfCast patent.

SurfCast patent application 610x587 Microsoft sued over new user interface

Surfcast's tile concept

Mobile phones, PCs and Tablets using windows phone 7, as well as windows 8/RT, are supposedly violating the patent. Microsoft is also accused of contributing to copyright infringement by encouraging other developers of producing app tiles for their operating systems. SurfCast wants Microsoft to pay damages for any direct and indirect infringement, while Microsoft remains adamant that the lawsuit is unfounded and that the case will be dropped.

SurfCast is stating that it thought of the idea of dynamically updating tile first, and applied for a patent as early as 2000 (it received the patent in 2004). They also claim that Microsoft was aware of the patent at the time of the development of their LiveTiles, and that they even referenced the technology as "relevant art" during the development of the new user interface.