Surfcast Sues Microsoft for Infringing Patent on Live Tiles
Live Tiles is one of Windows 8 most compelling and interesting features. In a nutshell, these are icons that contain dynamically updated information such as weather details, Facebook updates, Tweets and so on.
A company called Surfcast claims that it thought of this technology first and is now suing Microsoft. US Patent #6,724,403 is owned by Surfcast and it covers "selecting a variety of information sources, assigning each of those sources to a tile, and updating those tiles at variable refresh rates." This is what Microsoft's Live Tiles do. Interestingly this patent was filed by Surfcast in 2000 and awarded in 2004. Surfcast also claims that Microsoft had knowledge of this patent as early as 2009 but chose to infringe it anyway. In addition, Surfcast is also saying that Microsoft is inducing its partners of infringing on these patents.
Interestingly, a quick look at Surfcast's website suggests that the company has been around since 2001, but doesn't seem to sell or make any products on its own, leading us to believe that this could be a classic case of a patent troll.
Source: The Verge