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.
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.