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"In Singapore, MasterCard has unveiled a credit card to be released in January 2013 that includes "an embedded LCD display and touch-sensitive buttons," the company said this week. Eventually, this card might use its display to show "real time information such as available credit balance, loyalty or reward points, recent transactions, and other interactive information." But for now, the technology will be used to generate one-time passwords as an extra security measure." -ArsTechnica 11-8-2012 0846"
Link to Original Source
1. ***funny***; comical; amusing
2. displaying or creating humour
3. archaic another word for capricious
— adj , -nier , -niest
1. causing amusement or laughter; humorous; comical
2. ***peculiar; odd***"
-Dictionary.com, 2012-10-31 @ 12:21PM PST
The whole point being, they are suing someone for using their patent, whose own patented and licensed material was utilized as a visual aid in their patent application. This brings "fair use" into play. My opinion, for whatever it is worth, would be that the use of those specific visual aids wouldn't fall under "fair use" and could be used by Microsoft against the Patent Holders.
Now, I'm also not condoning the use by Microsoft of a Patented technique without first acquiring a license. But I've a general distaste for attempts at patenting method of producing GUI elements or generally trying to patent anything to do with a GUI, save perhaps for some proprietary technology that facilitates a more rapid and memory efficient method of displaying GUI elements. That would be an invention. There is nothing special about displaying a grid of "tiles" as a "Tile" could easily be considered a Border-less Child Window of a Multi-Document Interface (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_document_interface) being displayed in "Tiled" mode. Something that has existed possibility since Windows 3.0 released on May 22, 1990 (so would say the Might, but fallible WikiPedia) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiling_window_manager). Further, windows are sizable and their contents scale-able. So, MDI with border-less child windows scaled to fit the screen or some other bounds.
I again state, "I'm not FOR Microsoft(or anyone for that matter) using a patented technology or technique without first acquiring the license.". I do however suggest that it has already been patented under another name before and, in general, such "technologies" should not be patent-able in the first place.
My $0.02 is that the arrangement of GUI elements or categories of GUI elements, visual queues, etc. Should not be patent-able. I have, rather a strong opinion on the subject. So I'm going to end it here.