In 2012, a Maine-based company called SurfCast sued Microsoft over Live Tiles, claiming that the block tiles that are at the heart of the Windows 8 Start screen violate the Maine company’s patent.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for Maine, alleges that Microsoft infringes on one or more of the claims of SurfCast’s “403 patent” by making, using and selling products that use that patent, including Windows Phone 7, Surface, Windows RT, Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows 8 Enterprise.
Microsoft, in turn, asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to rule on the validity of SurfCast’s claims.
Earlier this week, the USPTO’s patent trial and appeal board sided with Microsoft, saying in a decision that “Microsoft has met its burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence in showing that claims 1–52 of the ’403 patent are unpatentable.” That decision essentially invalidates all the patent infringement claims brought forth in the case by SurfCast, according to Microsoft.
SurfCast could not immediately be reached for comment.
The case SurfCast brought against Microsoft is still pending in U.S. District Court, though the USPTO decision will likely play a large part in the proceedings going forward.