Small Software Developer Takes on Microsoft over Live Tiles in Lawsuit

Windows 8 isn’t a week old and it has already attracted a lawsuit. Software developer SurfCast is taking issue with Windows 8’s Live Tiles, which it thinks, are too similar to a tile system that it patented in 2004. The Live Tiles make up the centerpiece of Windows 8’s new interface by providing users with icons that can display up-to-date information about everything from weather to social network updates. Window 8 comes with default Live Tiles, but other applications can add tiles to your collection.

Windows 8 Live Tiles

Interestingly, Microsoft also has patents relating to Windows 8’s Live Tiles. Patent 7,933,632 B2, for example, provides Microsoft’s take on tiles and includes several illustrations of what eventually became the Live Tiles on Windows 8's Start Page. The Microsoft patent appears to have been granted after the SurfCast patent, but whether SurCast has a real case here remains to be seen.