Friday, November 2, 2012

Surfcast Files Suit over Microsoft’s Live Tiles Technology

On Tuesday, October 30, 2012, SurfCast (plaintiff) launched a suit against Microsoft (defendant) for patent infringement in the U.S. District Court of Maine (case no. 2:12-cv-00333).

SurfCast designs operating system technology and has designed a concept referred to as 'Tiles'. Microsoft is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington that develops, manufactures, and supports a wide range of products and services related to computing. 

The patent US6724403  involved in this suit is currently assigned[i] to SurfCast (Source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database). The patent entitled System and method for simultaneous display of multiple information sources was issued on April 20, 2004 and expires[ii] on October 30, 2020. 

According to the complaint, defendant’s products including OS for personal computers,  tablet devices, other hardware devices,  and mobile devices with the Windows Phone 7, Microsoft Surface with Windows RT, Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise for personal computers (collectively referred to as ‘the Accused Products’) are built-in with Live Tiles technology that allegedly infringes the ‘403 patent. 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. 

Plaintiff says the ‘403 patent was cited by the examiner as a relevant prior art for the US7933632 as part of Non-Final Rejection dated April 2009. The ‘732 patent entitled Tile space user interface for mobile devices is currently assignedi to Microsoft.

For more details, visit MaxVal-IP and subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

[i]Maxval offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.
[ii] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.

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