Less than a week after Windows 8 was released to the public, patent infringement claims are swirling around one of its central features. Operating system technology designer SurfCast has filed a U.S. District Court complaint alleging that the Live Tiles display seen on Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices makes use of elements covered in a patent awarded to the firm in 2004.
"We developed the concept of Tiles in the 1990s, which was ahead of its time," SurfCast CEO Ovid Santoro explained on the company's website. "Microsoft's Live Tiles are the centerpiece of Microsoft's new operating systems and are covered by our patent."
Though the website is relatively sparse, it does link to the company's full intellectual property portfolio. The patent in question describes a graphical user interface in which disparate content is organized into a grid of tiles that can be refreshed independently of one another.
According to The Next Web, the functionality of Microsoft's systems closely mirrors many of the processes illustrated in the earlier application. SurfCast's case could also be bolstered by the fact that its patent was previously listed as relevant prior art by examiners processing a similar application from Microsoft in 2009.