Microsoft has been granted the Metro UI patent

Microsoft’s patent for the Metro UI, filed under “Visual motion for user interface feedback”, has been approved by the USPTO.

This patent was originally filed in early 2010 but finally approved on August 18th. The official patent number is still pending as it takes a few days to be listed.

From the application abstract:

“Aspects of a user interface that provides visual feedback in response to user input. For example, boundary effects are presented to provide visual cues to a user to indicate that a boundary in a movable user interface element (e.g., the end of a scrollable list) has been reached.

As another example, parallax effects are presented in which multiple parallel or substantially parallel layers in a multi-layer user interface move at different rates, in response to user input. As another example, simulated inertia motion of UI elements is used to provide a more natural feel for touch input.

Various combinations of features are described. For example, simulated inertia motion can be used in combination with parallax effects, boundary effects, or other types of visual feedback. “

Microsoft uses Metro on the Xbox, Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Read more about Metro here.