Microsoft sued over patents concerning Live Tiles in Windows 8 and Windows Phone
0. phoneArena 31 Oct 2012, 15:45 posted on
When we first saw this headline, we had two thoughts in quick succession: 1) Of course someone has a patent on squares and rectangles that deliver information to users!, and 2) Why wasn't this lawsuit filed against Microsoft when Windows Phone 7 was released?...
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1. -box- (Posts: 3933; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Thank you for yet another well-presented article, Michael. The first paragraph mirrored my thoughts.
Best guess: Microsoft will have the patents invalidated, pay royalties, or buy the company. Or have it thrown out for being 2 years late
28. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5984; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
There is a bit of prior art that could give SurfCast some problems - Windows v. 2.0 was a tiled OS (developed under license from Apple, of all companies...). Adding a tiled OS to a phone doesn't exactly meet the novelty threshold.
Net-net, don't expect MS to be rushing to negotiate a license any time soon.
35. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2693; Member since: 26 May 2011)
It's not just a tiled layout, it's a tiled layout that pulls information from various sources and presents it.
50. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5984; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
The Windows 2.0 UI pulled information from various sources and displayed it. One window could display a telnet session, another window could be a Word session, yet another Window could be a Solitaire game. And, and, and.
See where I am going? Just adding a telephone to the mix doesn't meet the novelty test.
29. AnTuTu (Posts: 1023; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)
Does anyone know about Surfcast before? Hell No
And now? Hell yes.
Lets buy this company MS :p
30. XPERIA-KNIGHT (unregistered)
I agree, good job Michael :)
I know alot of these lawsuits tend to be based off of jealousy or pride but I get the feeling some of these lawsuits are necessary. I only hope things continue to come to a balance in the mobile world and competition can thrive the way it was intended to be...
Keep up the good work Michael I can sense a bit of "passion" in your articles which is a very good thing to see...
2. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 5224; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
Why do companies abuse lawsuits with FRAND patents?
4. wassup (Posts: 565; Member since: 23 Jun 2011)
this isn't FRAND.
Although it is dumb, like ALL of apple patents, it isn't FRAND. Sadly this is the state of affairs when it comes to the US.
5. Non_Sequitur (Posts: 1111; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)
God, I hate the US patent system.
46. plgladio (Posts: 313; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
But I love when they are agains Apple and MS :P
13. VZWuser76 (Posts: 2256; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
Not every patent is FRAND. You're like a child who discovered a new word. A patent has to be granted FRAND status, and it's usually has to be something that is essential and will become an industry standard. Prime examples patents dealing with voice/data transmission & reception, or audio/video codecs. Try understanding what you read before you parrot it.
23. theBankRobber (Posts: 649; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)
If its anything against Microsoft and Apple its FRAND PATENTS with you, if its the other way around against Google, Motorola, Samsung, or ANY Android OEM then its, they are copycats and deserve what they get. You really are something else.
34. xtremesv (Posts: 242; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)
FRAND is unfair, technologies selectively are chosen, these techs are normally the ones more technical and more innovative and by default the ones that have required more resources to be produced. With FRAND those REAL patents are given a generic status and the companies which created them cannot control ownership completely and that's good for technology progress. The problem is those garbage patents like design and utility ones which aren't FRAND, didn't involve a lot of intellectual resources and are used as litigation weapons by the companies that completely (without restriction) own them, just to threat the most innovative enterprises that can't use their own patents to protect themselves because they're FRAND.
42. VZWuser76 (Posts: 2256; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
I agree with your thought that the patents that usually fall under FRAND are more technical and valuable. But I believe the reason FRAND was brought about is two fold. First if these patents were not available at a reasonable price to everyone, the company that came up with them would have a stranglehold on the industry. Second, to reward the company that came up with them, the FRAND process guarantees that anyone who does use it must pay to license the tech or face injunctions. So the original company shouldn't have to litigate to get compensation. The problem is they don't seem to be enforcing it. And before anyone goes off about how nothing has been proven in the cases involving apple vs the android oems, they were found guilty for violating Nokia's FRAND patents, but Nokia had to bring the case to the courts. In another story apple has said they would be willing to pay $1 per phone for Motorola's patents. The problem is if that's less than what other companies are paying for those same patents, that would violate the terms of the FRAND process. It's supposed to be the same cost for EVERYONE, regardless of who they are.
What really makes me angry is apple wants to lowball companies they have to pay, whose patents are essential to operate as a mobile device, but want to charge exhorbitant amounts for things that while are a convenience, are not essential for operation. What needs to happen, & I've been saying this since these stories started, is that they need to have a standard for what companies can charge for patents. They could have a tiered system based on the importance of the patent. Why they haven't enacted something like that is beyond me, but there it is.
44. stealthd (Posts: 1004; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)
FRAND is an agreement between the inventor and a standards body. Nothing becomes FRAND without the inventor's approval. There's absolutely nothing unfair about that. FRAND is important because certain technologies need to be standard across an industry, like cellular technology, and it would be ridiculous if one or a few companies could dictate or discriminate prices. Design and utility patents aren't garbage, they're important too, they're just a completely different category. There's no point in comparing them, they're both useful for different reasons.
43. JunkCreek (Posts: 406; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
Mxyzptlk, you're Appler120%!
Reminds me Alcohol120% software...
45. JunkCreek (Posts: 406; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
Why do companies abuse lawsuits with RECTANGULAR SHAPE patents?
3. thief-thief (Posts: 3; Member since: 31 Oct 2012)
look like Microsoft doesn't get it even after when samsung got sued the hell out of them... talk about embarassing
6. daddysbeenabadgirl (Posts: 157; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)
Microsoft and Joe Belfiore look like idiots right now, after saying a few days ago that Andoid copied Apple.
All this shi t is starting to look like a kindergarden playground. All these companies need to shut up and focus on making consumers happy and stop trying to throw feces at each other because everyone stinks now.
41. nobelset (Posts: 270; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)
I'm a windows and windows phone fan, especially Nokia, but I got real pissed when Joe said that. It seems quite clear that he dun know anything about what he's talking.
47. plgladio (Posts: 313; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)
Don't understand why you got these many thumbs down.
Your comment wasn't biased atleast the second paragraph..
7. SleepingOz (unregistered)
Who said Google copied Apple? LMAO! In your face, Ballmer!
8. mas11 (Posts: 1033; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
Never thought I'd feel this sorry for Microsoft. Maybe this will be the trial that brings about patent reform.
31. lyndon420 (Posts: 2124; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
Feel sorry for ms? Seriously? It would make my day if ms had to pay over a billion dollars for something stupid like this. You know...like what apple did to Samsung.
38. weinerslav (Posts: 126; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)
So, microsoft should pay because of what apple did to samsung... it makes sense...
53. fervid (Posts: 181; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
I thought the same thing when Apple became popular. I hated Microsoft and everyone complained about their practices for years and sued them. Then Apple came along and did the exact same things and worse, but people allowed it like it was no issue and expected behavior. Microsoft was just started 15 years too soon. Had they came into play 15 years later and they'd be Apple. Now they are scraping for every little thing they can and people are treating them like the bad guy again.
9. Topcat488 (Posts: 1180; Member since: 29 Sep 2012)
This has nothing to do with FRAND, as it is not necessary to run your product, Microsoft copied, they'll have to pay... They could however change their icons to circles O, but that's probably patent too. But like who was now, I think Tim Cook said, after a few months, those rectangles will be boring and stale.
10. vvelez5 (Posts: 623; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)
It looks like an old bookmarks display I had on one of my older phones. I don't see this holding much water but let's see how it plays out.
11. Bernoulli (Posts: 2019; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)
"Could you patent the sun? " Jonas Salk, inventor of the vaccine against polio, he didn't patent the vaccine and the quote mentioned was his response.
12. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)
But what do they do besides suing?
14. Aeires (unregistered)
So why didn't MS approach SurfCast and request a license deal? Seriously, they could have easily augmented that with the Android license fees they charge. If they lose, they're screwed, better start getting W9 ready ASAP.
15. theBankRobber (Posts: 649; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)
They got rejected before because of prior art, why not man up and pay royalties . They have alot of nerves calling others thieves and copycats but they are doing it themselves. I feel they learned a few tricks from Apple to beat around the bush for this approval.
16. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)
So M$ copied Apple on how to manipulate US Patent Office :D
18. theBankRobber (Posts: 649; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)
Yes or reword what the patent does or how its used. Isn't that how a patent for rectangles came into light of day with phones and tablets? Haha LMAO
20. papss (unregistered)
Right and let me guess Google is completely perfect?
22. theBankRobber (Posts: 649; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)
Thumb me down all you want but the difference is Google doesn't ATTACK and call others thieves and copycats like Microsoft and Apple both do. Don't be so damn blind, open up your eyes and see the truth because its right in front of you. Also don't give me that Google and Motorola crap because all the suits were going on Before Google bought them out.
25. papss (unregistered)
Why don't you stop being so blind! All are copying on some level and if this is any worse then say HTC windows design that is similar to Nokia. So I guess they should sue...and no it's not in front of me.. I fully believe that there was no copying involved in this matter.
19. papss (unregistered)
First of all just because it is similar doesn't mean MS copied anything. To say they didn't come up with this themselves is ludicrous.
21. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)
Hmmmm Samsung phones looked similar to iphone as per Apple and Apple wants money for something looking similar. Microsoft went after LINDOWS because it SOUNDED similar to WINDOWS.
24. Gaytor (Posts: 51; Member since: 09 Sep 2012)
Non sense . These sort of patents should not be granted .
27. lonestrider (Posts: 86; Member since: 31 Mar 2012)
I love the last sentence.
"bravo US Patent & Trademark Office, you have gone above and beyond in your never-ending quest to destroy the meaning of patents, and make sure all companies get the opportunity to waste money on lawsuits rather than innovation."
Everyone is confused and s**tted by US Patent. Not Apple, not anyone.
36. lyndon420 (Posts: 2124; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
Cough up the money ms. Maybe then you'll understand what its like to come up with what could be a good product, and to have some piece of crap company come along to ruin everything for you. Karma....its just and fair.
37. downphoenix (Posts: 2557; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
I think its strategic positioning from the company trying to get Microsoft to buy them.
And they probably didnt bother filing it back in WP7 because of hte fact that WP7 is more or less a failure, due to lack of support by Microsoft and OEMs. Microsoft will do everything in its power to make sure this doesnt happen to WP8, and this will include settling a case in some way like this.
49. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)
Yes like they bought over LINDOWS copyright for 20 mil only after losing in court. So M$ will buy only if they lose in court but price could be higher as this is not a Copyright issue
51. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1240; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)
I think this thing will be settled before it hits the courts if this company is on the stock exchange Microsoft could buy enough controlling stock to take it over and reverse the suit or lets be for real this company has done nothing with this UI this their Golden opportunity to become part of Microsoft in a big way or make millions on a concept that they never got to the market place. I think it is best they go for the money and get some royalty fees and glory. if they ban Microsoft from using this UI then Microsoft smart phones will look like old windows Mobile smart phones and Microsoft tablets will have the good old windows 7 desktop with dead do noting Icons what a disaster.
smart phones, Desktop/Laptop computers, in ware houses, stores would have to be recalled and reprogrammed.to windows phone 8 without tiles this is a disaster in the making.but I think the love for money in the form of royalty fees will prevail
52. fervid (Posts: 181; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
Maybe when everyone is suing everyone else the patent system will realize how flawed it is. Someone needs to get a patent on a system for storing and cataloging ideas then sue the patent office for infringing on their patent. This is getting crazy.
55. MartyK (Posts: 729; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)
"A variety of information sources into grid of tiles each of which can refresh its content independently of the others.”
I think this says it all, Microsoft has/did infring on this company patent.
58. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)
microsoft should just buy that company! :P
59. 7thspaceman (Posts: 1240; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)
hmm if Microsoft loses the court case and the Surcast people do not settle for royalties
and have Microsoft banned from using live tiles. this would cost Microsoft billions of dollars. Microsoft tablets and smart phones windows 8 computers would have to be recalled or a software fix would be applied to all these devices to remove the Tile interface that wont be so hard to do to the Windows 8 PC program because you can go into regedit and get the Desktop back and avoid the metro screen but it would be the death of Windows phone 7 and 8 and it's tablets A blow like that would set set Microsoft back 3 years unless they revive the Old windows Mobile OS and update it with the NT core but not have live tiles just dead damn icons again! Folks this is like a
Hollywood suspense movie everybody wants to see what is going to happen. If I were Microsoft I would look into reviving Old Windows Mobile.
60. cdgoin (Posts: 374; Member since: 28 Jul 2010)
Anyone notice other than being square the patent art looks nothing like a live tile..? I don't think MS should be very concerned.