Microsoft Sued Over New Windows 8 Tile Interface

But Microsoft obtained its own patent for the feature last year

By Christopher Freeburn, InvestorPlace Writer

With its new Windows 8 operating system in customers’ hands barely a week, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is facing a patent infringement lawsuit over the OS’s flashiest element.

The software giant has been sued over the Live Tiles interface that greets users when they boot up a device running Windows 8. SurfCast, which filed the lawsuit, says that the tiles violate a 2004 patent it holds for “a system and method for simultaneous display of multiple information sources” presented in a grid format, Wired noted.

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Windows 8’s Live Tiles can be configured to show application data, weather, news headlines, new Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) postings and other information on different tiles.

SurfCast, which holds a number of patents, but does not appear to produce any software or technology, is asking for unspecified damages resulting from the sale of Windows 8.

A representative of Microsoft dismissed SurfCast’s claims, saying that Microsoft’s software “created a unique user experience.” In fact, Microsoft was awarded a patent for its Live Tiles in 2011, though that patent did make reference to SurfCast.

Investors appeared unconcerned by the litigation. Shares of Microsoft rose about 2% in early Thursday trading.

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