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I am wondering if I would need to license the Metro style or if I can just freely use it in my own applications. I mean, is it patented or protected in any way that would prevent me from building my own implementation? I effectively would like to copy the visible part of it.

I like to idea of being able to:

  • Provide an interface which is used somewhere else (as in 1 less to learn)
  • Use the interface that has been tested for usability (I personally like it)
  • Have the possibility of getting free publicity because of implementing full Metro style web application while not associated with Microsoft, etc.
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@Jeremy Heiler Why did you edit my question? There was nothing wrong with it. Title is misleading now because I AM able to implement it. If you want to reword my question completely why can't you ask your own? –  LukeP Jun 10 '12 at 20:33
    
If you dislike the edit, feel free to roll it back. You already have two close-votes, so I was just trying to help you out. (Also, asking a duplicate question is against the rules...) –  Jeremy Heiler Jun 10 '12 at 20:35
    
Also, I meant to say "Am I legally able to..." in the title, but I took it out because I wasn't sure and forgot to re-address the issue before I made the edit. Sorry. –  Jeremy Heiler Jun 10 '12 at 20:38

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I remember reading about this and shaking my head in disgust: http://pocketnow.com/windows-phone/microsoft-granted-patent-for-its-metro-user-interface

So, no, you can't legally copy their interface and reap the benefits of their UI development. If you are just looking for a side project to work on, I say go for it and have fun. If you are looking to market and sell your application with your Metro interface, I say contact Microsoft and ask about a licence to do it. I wouldn't suggest just going for it as you might find yourself at the end of some legal nastiness if you do.

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