Portland Tech Company Sues Microsoft for Patent Infringement

By Richardson, Whit | Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME), November 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Portland Tech Company Sues Microsoft for Patent Infringement


Richardson, Whit, Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME)


PORTLAND, Maine -- A company headquartered in Portland has sued Microsoft for patent infringement related to aspects of its new Windows 8 operating system and tablet products.

The Portland company is called SurfCast. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Maine.

At question is a feature called "Live Tiles," a key piece of the user interface Microsoft has incorporated into its Windows 8 operating system and tablet products.

In a brief message posted on SurfCast's website, CEO Ovid Santoro states: "We developed the concept of Tiles in the 1990s, which was ahead of its time. Microsoft's Live Tiles are the centerpiece of Microsoft's new Operating Systems and are covered by our patent."

SurfCast's patent (U.S. Patent No. 6,724,403), "System and Method For Simultaneous Display of Multiple Information Sources," was issued in 2004.At the time of its filing in 2000, the company's address was listed as Palo Alto, Calif.

Microsoft has its own patent related to the Tiles feature (U.S. Patent No. 7,933,632) called "Tile Space User Interface for Mobile Devices."

The company issued a statement, according to The Seattle Times, saying, "We are confident we will prove to the court that these claims are without merit and that Microsoft has created a unique user experience."

While the language contained within SurfCast's patent does sound similar to what Microsoft is doing, SurfCast's claims that it has suffered "harm and injury" are tenuous, according to Jon Brodkin at Ars Technica, an online publication covering technology. …

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Portland Tech Company Sues Microsoft for Patent Infringement
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