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Watch Out, Nokia -- You May Be Infringing a Dead Dutch Painter!*

Authored by: Steven Blum — Sep 5, 2012

The new Windows 8 interface that Nokia just debuted on their Lumia 920 is beautiful, no doubt, but it's not necessarily original. In fact, it almost looks as if Microsoft lifted the UI right from the canvas of a Mondrian painting. Just look at the Windows' similarity to paintings by the famous (and long dead) Dutch painter Pieter Cornelis Mondrian:

According to Wikipedia, Mondrian developed his grid-like abstract painting style in the 1930's. While they weren't patented, they were created prior (faaaar prior) to the Windows 8 phone. Prior art, people!

Given the absurdity of present-day patent law, might we see Mondrain's estate suing Windows?*

* We're joking, of course, but it's a funny thing to think about.

(Hat tip: Stephen Levy on Twitter)

Steven Blum has written more than 2,000 blog posts as a founding member of AndroidPIT's English editorial team. A graduate of the University of Washington, Steven Blum also studied Journalism at George Washington University in Washington D.C. for two years. Since then, his writing has appeared in The Stranger, The Seattle P-I, Blackbook Magazine and Venture Villlage. He loves the HTC One and hopes the company behind it still exists in a few years.


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  • LOL, Patrick. Well then clearly you should sue, too. Let's all sue!

    John A, thank you for reminding me about Atari!

  • Just got back from your video link john. Believe it or not, Atari still exists. I think it was bought by the same people who bought Microprose (Civilization, Sword of the Samurai etc.) and they rebranded themselves as Atari.

  • Haha Steven, and I thought I came up with the design for that with paint, on windows 3.1 in the 90s (didn't we all do this?).

  • No problems John. I'm sure we've all done it. I hope you're enjoying your nexus 7 as much as I am.

  • John A Sep 6, 2012 Link to comment

    sorry guys, new nexus 7 sent this a few times.

  • John A Sep 6, 2012 Link to comment

    sorry guys, new nexus 7 sent this a few times.

  • John A Sep 6, 2012 Link to comment

    off topic but here is a blast from the past :) Now that was a tablet.

    I wonder who owns all the Atari patents

  • Why not? And in the same sense the Roddenberry estate and Paramount Pictures should be suing Apple. Star Trek introduced us to a tablet device long before Apple ever did. Watch an episode of The Next Generation. They frequently use a device called a PADD (Peronal Access Data Device). It is a thin recrangular touch screen device with rounded corners and icons approximately the same dimensions as most of today's 10" tablets..... Apples innovative ideas my asteroid.....

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