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Microsoft sued over new UI in Windows 8

Posted at 31 October 2012 18:59 CEST by Liggy

US company SurfCast filed a patent lawsuit against Microsoft on Monday alleging that Microsoft has infringed and is infringing SurfCast’s U.S. Patent No. 6,724,403 with its Windows 8 and Surface products, among others. The so called ’403 patent’ describes a computerised method of presenting information from a variety of sources on a display device, in particular organising content from a variety of information sources into a grid of tiles.

Interface screenshot

According to the lawsuit, Microsoft already had knowledge of the infringed patent at least as early as April 21, 2009 when their own patent 7,933,632 which was filed in 2005 was (not-finally) rejected by the patent examiner, citing the ’403 patent’ as relevant prior art. Furthermore Microsoft also instructs developers how to write applications that, when downloaded through the Windows Store and used on an accused product, directly infringe one or more claims of the patent.

SurfCast requests compensation from Microsoft for the infringed patent, however the lawsuit does not list a claim to stop Microsoft from further infringing the patent, which could result in a ban to distribute any of the infringing Microsoft products.

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There are 9 comments

TSJnachos117
MyCE Senior Member
Posted on: 31 Oct 12 19:29
    Hypocrites, hypocrites, hypocrites. I seem to recall Microsoft suing the devs behind React OS for patent infringement. However, as the Reast OS web sites says, their software is technically written from scratch, so naturally, M$ lost the suit.

    Yet, here they are, infringing someone else's patents. Of course, you have to wonder...why? The Start Menu was just fine the way it was. Adding the search bar in Vista and 7 was genius. But, they just had to break the law in order to create crap.
    RTV71
    MyCE Member
    Posted on: 31 Oct 12 19:39
      Quote:
      Originally Posted by TSJnachos117
      Hypocrites, hypocrites, hypocrites. I seem to recall Microsoft suing the devs behind React OS for patent infringement. However, as the Reast OS web sites says, their software is technically written from scratch, so naturally, M$ lost the suit.
      Patents protect the idea, not the specific implementation. If the idea is duplicated, it's infringing regardless of the origin of the software, hardware, or programming language used.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_patent
      FreqNasty_RiseS
      MyCE Member
      Posted on: 01 Nov 12 04:57
        After just briefly reading through the Surfcast patent, it would appear their tiles only change appearance when the mouse pointer is placed over them. This is achieved by using the JavaScript 'onmouseover' command.
        The Windows 8 tiles are changing in appearance regardless of whether the mouse pointer is placed on them.
        The Surfcast tiles also appear to be little screen grabs. Look at the Surfcast tiles displaying Outlook and eBay for example. Windows 8 tiles do not display like that.
        Treeofl1
        New Member
        Posted on: 03 Nov 12 00:41
          Lol, read the title and instantly thought "Apple"
          thewarrior008
          New Member
          Posted on: 04 Nov 12 19:03
            I read that some days ago. This company is a troll. They don't even have a good website.They are hoping to make money with this lawsuit.
            alan1476
            Senior Moderator, Software Editor and Head of Promotions
            Posted on: 22 Nov 12 13:28
              My son is studying to be a " Patent Infringment Attorney" ( Barrister for all you Europeans) and he told me this is the biggest new field in Law now, its always been there but very few attorneys have just practiced Patent Infringment. He is going to pass the Bar Exam soon and then we will see who sues who LOL.
              filedog
              MyCE Junior Member
              Posted on: 25 Nov 12 15:03
                Gates didn't invent DOS, he screwed the inventor out of it. Just business as usual.
                _chef_
                MyCE Resident
                Posted on: 01 Dec 12 14:06
                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by filedog
                  Gates didn't invent DOS, he screwed the inventor out of it. Just business as usual.
                  Exactly, this bookworm screwed CP/M too.

                  It's kinda satisfying for me to see m$ sued again.


                  *give them their own medicine!*
                  ttocsmij
                  New Member
                  Posted on: 10 Jan 13 17:12
                    Microsoft does this all the time and has for many years. Even back in the DOS days. They once invited a company in to discuss real-time file compression. They looked at the IP, showed the company out, and introduced the IP in their next version of MS-DOS as a new feature. They got sued, of course. But the lawyers were ready. Everyone got a few million while M$ was able to make billions and continue on their merry way. It's just business.

                    Xerox could have been bigger than IBM or M$ had they realized that the toys they had developed would be soon be in use by billions of people on the planet: the mouse, the graphical user interface (aka windows), laser printing, IVp6, to name but a few. Yep. They developed all this and more in their PARC lab facility and were tickled pink when Bill and Steve came through on tours. Bill and Steve weren't so stupid and both went on to become billionaires while PC work at Xerox passed away (essentially). Check out Palo Alto Research Center on wikipedia for more.

                    BTW, filedog, Bill didn't screw the inventor, per se. One version of the story has it that he bought a copy from one of the inventor's customers, re-labeled as his own and re-sold it to IBM. The story goes that IBM came to the inventor first but he was OOT and his wife wouldn't sign the NDA IBM required (of all their suppliers BTW) so they went back and asked Bill and he "figured it out". So. It is really hard to point fingers of fault, and after all these years, it's just water over the dam anyhow. The inventor later sold the company to Novell for a pretty penny and moved to a lake-beach house in Austin (TX); keeping the mansion in Pebble Beach (CA) for business and vacations. you can wikipedia Gary Kildall for more on this interesting fellow.

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