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Microsoft Getting Sued Over Most Distinctive Feature Of Its New Windows Software (That was Quick)
Business Insider ^ | 10/31/2012 | Kevin Smith

Posted on 10/31/2012 1:04:26 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Microsoft is being sued over the most visible new feature of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

A company called SurfCast claims that Microsoft's Live Tiles, which actively update new information on the main screen as it is received, violates a patent it has. SurfCast filed the lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in the District of Maine yesterday, October 30, The Next Web reported.

According to its website, SurfCast says it designs operating-system technology and has applied for four more patents.

The company designed a new concept referred to as "Tiles" for which it is suing Microsoft.

SurfCast describes its "Tiles" as "dynamically updating icons," different from standard operating-system icons for files and applications because they are "selectable and live—containing refreshed content that provides a real-time or near-real-time view of the underlying information." That's Patent 6,724,403, granted in 2004:

“System and method for simultaneous display of multiple information sources.”

That does sound similar in concept to Microsoft's Live Tiles, which show information from users' email, calendar, and social networks, as well as other software and Web apps.

(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet; Society
KEYWORDS: lawsuit; microsoft; windows8

1 posted on 10/31/2012 1:04:33 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
SURFCAST's 403 PATENT:



MICROSOFT's 632 PATENT


2 posted on 10/31/2012 1:07:17 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind; a fool in paradise; Slings and Arrows

We’re all (and Microsoft) are going to dye!


3 posted on 10/31/2012 1:08:15 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: SeekAndFind

These patent fights are getting a bit nuts. I was joking with people that Microsoft made Windows 8 so ugly to avoid this kind of lawsuit. Even that didn’t help them.


4 posted on 10/31/2012 1:11:24 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: SeekAndFind

How is the updating tile different than the mini-windows that have been in a variety of window managers, such as KDE and Gnome, for many years? These show mini-tile views of whatever is on a particular desktop slice.


5 posted on 10/31/2012 1:11:24 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: SeekAndFind
MS Program Manager (progman.exe) from Windows 3.1:


6 posted on 10/31/2012 1:12:53 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid (Semper Fi)
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To: SeekAndFind

please tell me this is a joke


7 posted on 10/31/2012 1:15:40 PM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: The KG9 Kid

Wow...never knew you could patent a square. Who’s got the circle patent? (Bet he’s a 1 percenter...)


8 posted on 10/31/2012 1:16:53 PM PDT by Dansong
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To: SeekAndFind

It should not be possible to patent some things. Hey, I am going to go and patent ...um.. grass... your all going to owe me bucks.


9 posted on 10/31/2012 1:18:24 PM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: GeronL
I'll have to sue you for littering my yard with your grass. Come get rid of it. ;)

/johnny

10 posted on 10/31/2012 1:23:09 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: SeekAndFind

Prepare to be assimilated...


11 posted on 10/31/2012 1:28:25 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: JRandomFreeper

lol.

Any time a lawn is mowed, it infringes (literally) on my patent.


12 posted on 10/31/2012 1:29:01 PM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Dansong
Of course you can patent a square. apple already got away with patenting a rectangle (the Ipad).

CC

13 posted on 10/31/2012 1:30:48 PM PDT by Celtic Conservative (Q: how did you find America? A: turn left at Greenland)
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To: Dansong
Of course you can patent a square. apple already got away with patenting a rectangle (the Ipad).

CC

14 posted on 10/31/2012 1:31:04 PM PDT by Celtic Conservative (Q: how did you find America? A: turn left at Greenland)
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To: Dansong

No, they’re 3.14 percenters. ;-)


15 posted on 10/31/2012 1:39:48 PM PDT by SoothingDave
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To: SeekAndFind

lucky for the early guys in the automobile industry that it was accepted that “the concept” was not your invention, your execution (the how do we do it) of a concept was your invention and it was what set you apart from competitors who invented different implementations of the concept

but the entire computer industry has become fixated - wrongly in my view - that concepts are as much a “creations” as are tools that make a concept into a product - they’re not

what you are not supposed to steal is someone elses DESIGN (the “how to” of something)

but there can legitimately be many different versions of an implementation of the same concept - HOW you do it can be different than how someone else does it, though they may LOOK alike

in this case, on the little evidence so far, the first company “discovered” the concept of “live” icons/tiles

anyone can “discover” the same concept

they just cannot steal the first company’s computer code for that puts that concept to use

what has been going on in the computer industry is as if one could discover the chemical formula for water, patent it and charge royalties on everyone who uses water in a commercial process in which water is divided into its constituent parts

of course some people think they can discover a gene in nature and then they own that gene; whereas I would grant them only a patent for the tools they invented for identifying the gene, while others could invent their own tools to do the same thing, legally


16 posted on 10/31/2012 1:52:14 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Dansong

Well apparently Apple already owns rectangles with curved edges, so they had to try to find some other shape!


17 posted on 10/31/2012 1:56:47 PM PDT by Svartalfiar
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To: SeekAndFind
I still don't get why people would be allowed to patent an idea. The entire point of a patent should be implementation of an idea, not simply the idea itself.
18 posted on 10/31/2012 1:59:14 PM PDT by Svartalfiar
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To: Dansong
"Wow...never knew you could patent a square. Who’s got the circle patent?"

Apple has the patent on rounded corners.

19 posted on 10/31/2012 2:13:56 PM PDT by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: USNBandit

The Wright brothers tried to patent flying.


20 posted on 10/31/2012 2:33:01 PM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: SeekAndFind

They’ll have a hard time getting past an obviousness defense.


21 posted on 10/31/2012 2:44:22 PM PDT by circlecity
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To: Wuli
Even patenting the implementation of a concept is a slippery slope in the computing realm. Is the icon proof of an implementation or is the code behind it the salient part.

Amazon claimed ownership of the shopping cart in total if my memory is correct - both the concept and the icon representing it - even though shopping carts had been around for decades. But theirs was a computer-based aggregation of items for purchase. It was an obvious metaphor. What if another company used the same code but called it a "basket" versus a shopping cart? What's the patent based on - the specific nomenclature, the code, the process, the elegance of the process, or the intersection of all of the specific technical elements?

22 posted on 10/31/2012 2:51:11 PM PDT by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: SeekAndFind

It sounds like some the claims conflict with Microsoft Active Desktop, invented in 1997, I think. It provided users with moving/updating widget/gadget like tiles for real-time information.


23 posted on 10/31/2012 3:13:52 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: uncommonsense

whatever “it” is (a “creation” i.e. human invention) it is not the concept

a wheel to be affixed to a platform such that the platform is supported by the wheel and the platform can be moved as the wheel turns round

is a concept

the wooden wheel was an invention to use that concept

reinforcing the wooden wheel with spokes was an invention

placing a steel band around the wooden wheel to protect the wood and give longer life to the wheel was an invention

different designs of those steel bands were inventions

the all metal wheel for supporting great weight for moving very heavy platforms was an invention to use that concept

placing rubber on wooden wheels was another invention using that concept

placing an inflatible tube inside a rubber ring on the wheel was an invention furthing the concept

making the rubber ring inflatible itself was an invention

inventions implement a concept, they are not the concept

and - wheel on platforms as a means of support and locomotion for the platform was not an invention, just a concept

many things in the modern computer industry have been patented and they should not have been, they are just concepts

most of the legal “patent” battles in the computer industry have been over such ill-gotten patents

and the success of obtaining those ill-gotten patents have turned them into lucrative sources of revenue and worth the cost of the legal efforts to get the patents enforced

many such patents are not protecting the development of technology, they are impeding it


24 posted on 10/31/2012 8:11:56 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Wuli

My initial comment was relating to computing implementations, not obvious, tangible, “see and feel” items like improvements to a wheel. We now have process and method patents, like it or not. What is needed are clear, defensible lines of delineation for the electronic and process realms for what can be patented. Saying that it is OK to patent the “implementation” of a concept does not provide a clear line.


25 posted on 11/01/2012 8:15:45 AM PDT by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: uncommonsense

“We now have process and method patents, like it or not.”

There should not be general “process” patents, because a generalized process is synonymous with “concept” and even “the automobile” IS a concept.

A “method” patent should only be given when it too is not merely the concept behind a method, but the very specific means by which the concept was implemented as a very specific method - the computer code, specific hardware, specific integration of the two in a specific manner that implements the “method”.

Someone else could imagine the same concept behind the method and use a different toolset - computer code, specific hardware, specific integration of the two - and not infringe on the other’s patent. Stealing or totally repeating the other’s computer code & integrating it in the same fashion with the same hardware would be a patent violation.

“Process” needs to have the same logic applied to it.

The idea/concept is not the invention. The manner of the implemnetation of the idea/concept is the invention.

“The airplane” was not, as a concept, the invention. HOW one did it involved and produce a number of patents, but others could still imagine the concept/process/method of flying and implement it using their how invented too set.

The software industry has long gotten away with patenting mere “ideas”, not inventions, to keep others from competing altogether. They have gotten away with formulating legal arguments that computer “process” and “method” are not only “new” but have no analgous comparisons to older industrial technologies. They are wrong.


26 posted on 11/01/2012 2:48:16 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: SeekAndFind

Often patents overlap other patents as the PTO does a lousy job of researching patents before awarding them.


27 posted on 11/01/2012 2:50:42 PM PDT by CodeToad (Padme: "So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.")
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To: Wuli
"They have gotten away with formulating legal arguments that computer “process” and “method” are not only “new” but have no analogous comparisons to older industrial technologies. They are wrong."

You're preaching to the choir. I thought that was obvious - my mistake.

I'll drop my challenge to elucidate specific software patent guidelines - versus blanket statements of what we, on the bleeding edge of the computer industry, have been literally battling for over a decade - since before 1998 (note [1])

[1] e.g. "A method and system for placing an order to purchase an item via the Internet" filed in 1988 when EDI was already well established, the Open Market "online shopping cart" from Soverain Software, One-Click from Amazon, and most recently Apple's rounded corners, etc.

28 posted on 11/01/2012 3:47:07 PM PDT by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: uncommonsense

“What if another company used the same code but called it a “basket” versus a shopping cart?”

stealing/using the exact same computer code is patent theft, no mater what you name the reult

using a different coding method (language and or logic) and its not theft and you ought to be able to call it what you want


29 posted on 11/01/2012 3:50:01 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Wuli
"using a different coding method (language and or logic) and its not theft and you ought to be able to call it what you want"

Not quite true. There are code converters, not perfect, but they translate one language to another. Code syntax is usually protected under a copyright (it was a part of our product launch process) and the methods, logic, algorithms were patentable. Translating a unique algorithm from C++ to JAVA, that simplifies large linear math problems, will not fend off a patent infringement suit.

30 posted on 11/07/2012 9:03:34 AM PST by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: uncommonsense
I won't disagree with you on the specific example of an algorithm. It is nat a mere "idea" it is a formula that ahieves an objective that begins with a mere idea; it produces that which the idea seeks. It, the algorithm, is a "creation". But, having spent my own time in the IT industry I know there can be more than one algorithm that reaches the same result. One may be more combersome and brutal and one more elegant but both reach the same product. Two "inventors" with their own implementation of what an idea called for. So, yes, you ought to be able to patent your algorthm, but if I have taken a different route and reached the same result I have not copied your work and I do not owe you something just because your algorthm reached that result before mine. In the end, those using our algorthms will decide which one is the "more efficient" product to use; not the patent office.
31 posted on 11/07/2012 10:32:45 AM PST by Wuli
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