A Portland-based OS development company called Surfcast has filed a patent infringement case against Microsoft. Surfcast sued Microsoft for allegedly infringing on its patents with the use of Live Tiles in its desktop, tablet and mobile software.
Patent 6,724,403 (’403): “System and method for simultaneous display of multiple information sources.”
The above patent involves the method of “presenting information from variety of sources on a display device.”, ”organizes content from a variety of information sources into grid of tiles each of which can refresh its content independently of the others.”, according to TNW. Basically, they claim Microsoft’s Live Tiles concept was invented by them.
Surfcast even has a website in which it describes the Tiles concept,
SurfCast designed a new concept referred to as ‘Tiles’.
Tiles can be thought of as dynamically updating icons. 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.
Tiles can provide dynamic bookmarking — an at-a-glance view of the current status of the program, file, or content associated with it.
Tiles enable people to have all their content, applications, and resources, regardless of whether on their mobile device, tablet, computer, or in their Cloud — visualized persistently — dynamically updating.
Microsoft also has few patents on Live Tiles and Surfcast claims that even Microsoft explicitly references their above patents in Microsoft’s own patents as prior art.