Apple has a ton of patents under its sleeve, many of them pertaining to iOS. And there were a few companies including Samsung which were found to be infringing on its patents (mostly hardware related). But the general perception with us the public is that Apple takes its patents seriously, a little too seriously at times. And here’s one example why. The Cupertino giant has now filed for a patent with the USPTO for the iOS Notification Center. If you know what Notification Center on iOS is, you would know that it’s pretty much the same as Android’s Notifications Bar. It’s basically a drop down box which reveals all the app notifications conveniently in one place. This feature never existed before iOS 5, while Google originally filed a patent for Android’s Notifications Bar back in 2009. The two notification hubs perform differently though, so I don’t think there should be any squabble over that. However, knowing Apple, we can expect things to be taken down to the courts once or if the patent is approved. Samsung interestingly had filed a patent suit against Apple in South Korea, alleging the company of infringing on Google’s Notifications Bar patent. That trial still hasn’t seen a conclusion, so Apple’s timing to get the patent approved might just be perfect for the company. Apple filed for this particular patent in June 2012.
Android users can now point fingers at iOS users and claim that they had notifications bar first. iOS’ notifications hub, unlike Android’s, shows a lot more data, as it is more of a widgets homescreen than just a notifications center. Android has widgets on its homescreen, so there’s no real need for them at the notifications bar. Apple’s notification center displays real time weather info, stock alerts along with native info like calls, messages etc within the drop down notifications center. Android’s notifications bar works slightly differently, and it provides just necessary information and no fancy to the eye graphics with a simplistic UI. It will be interesting to see how this new patent filing will affect future trials.
Apple’s application has the title – “Systems and methods for displaying notification received from multiple applications“. That sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it? Well, as of now the patent has only been applied and not approved, so we will have to wait and see if the USPTO will give the nod to this patent. What do you guys think? Is Apple justified in applying for this patent?