A company in Portland, Maine is suing Microsoft over its use of so-called "live tiles" in its Windows 7
and Windows 8 operating systems.
SurfCast, a software company that develops for operating systems, claims that it came up with the idea for the technology as far back as the 1990s, according to this ComputerWorld article. The company received a patent for a "System and Method for Simultaneous Display of Multiple Information Sources" in 2004, which is the focus of the current lawsuit.
"Live tiles" are part of the new Windows interfaces and are distinct from ordinary tiles as they are constantly changing, displaying different information about incoming messages and notifications.
The tiling system is a major component of the operating system on new Windows mobile devices, providing the company with a key differentiator in its interface.