Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) just launched Windows 8 less than a week, but already the new operating system seems to be putting Microsoft's attorneys to work, as now Redmond looks like it will have to answer a new patent-infringement lawsuit filed in Maine.
SurfCast, an operating-system technology design firm, filed a patent-infringement suit against Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) this week, claiming that the Windows 8 OS violates one of SurfCast's four patents dealing with app tiles, which SurfCast claims it has had since 2004 and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) referred to the patent in its own patent filing later. Not only this, but SurfCast is also claiming that Redmond is "encouraging" continued infringement by providing opportunities for developers to create app tiles for the Windows App Store.
As part of the complaint filed in U.S. District Court, SurfCast is especially taking Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to task over "Live Tiles," which are icons that provide real-tie or near-real-time information about what is under the icon (such as new e-mail messages or new voice-mail messages, for example). "Microsoft had knowledge of the '403 patent at least as early as April 21, 2009," the complaint from SurfCast stated, adding that Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) referred to the patent (6,724,403) as prior art in it own patent application.
On SurfCast's Web site, it describes its "Tiles" technology: "Tiles can be thought of as dynamically updating icons. A Tile is different from an icon because it can be both selectable and live -- containing refreshed content that provides a real-time or near-real-time view of the underlying information. ... Tiles enable people to have all their content, applications, and resources, regardless of whether on their mobile device, tablet , computer, or in their Cloud -- visualized persistently -- dynamically updating."
Si there surprise that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) could launch new software and services and get sued for patent infringement? Do you think investors like billionaire fund manager Seth Klarman of Baupost Group figure legal costs into stock prices and new product releases?