Apple applies for iOS 'Notification Center' patent years after Google's 'Notification Bar'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A filing published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday reveals that Apple is looking to patent the iOS Notification Center, a feature similar to Google's Notification Bar which allows mobile device users to keep tabs on a multitude of apps from a central hub.

Notification Center
Source: USPTO


Apple's application, titled "Systems and methods for displaying notification received from multiple applications," offers an outline of a system that can receive and aggregate "notifications" or alerts from a number of apps within iOS.

As with many other operations level iOS features, Notification Center is the result of an ongoing effort to create a more inviting and intuitive experience for the end user. In this case, however, many believe that Apple cribbed the functionality from Google's Android OS which implemented a very similar notification system before Notification Center was introduced in iOS 5. The internet search giant actually filed its own patent application for what it calls "Notification Bar" in 2009, some two years prior to Apple's "Notification Center" filing.

Most recently, Samsung sued Apple in South Korea, alleging the iOS Notification Center infringes on active patents. Not much information has been made available in the reported suit, though the "active patent" is believed to be related to Google's Notification Bar.

Google's Notification Bar
Illustration from Google's Notification Bar patent application.


Before iOS 5, Apple's mobile operating system had no "central hub" to which apps could send messages and notifications. Examples would be push notifications from messaging apps, new emails and alerts from reminder apps, all of which would have to be found by the user through a manual search of the graphical user interface.

From the application's background:
Because electronic devices can contain many applications, the potential for application-based notifications can become numerous and unwieldy, particularly if a user is required to access each application individually in order to view application-specific notifications. Accordingly, what is needed is a more efficient and intuitive approach for organizing notifications and providing users with instant access to these notifications.
In Apple's solution, a central "notification module" can interface with a plurality of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) while the device is either locked or unlocked and present the messages or alerts to the user according to a customizable display scheme. As seen in the current iteration of Notification Center, users can select which apps are granted access, the amount of notifications that are displayed and how they are presented on screen.

For example, notifications from an instant messaging app can be displayed in a pop-up window that requires user intervention to dismiss, or banner that temporarily takes over the top of the screen and disappears within a few seconds. The system can be further refined to present a set number of messages as well as where those messages appear in the Notification Center's hierarchy.

Banners
Illustration of banner notifications.


The Notification Center window is a scrollable list that sections alerts from multiple apps into panes, a number of which can be made into permanent "widgets" that display data from Apple's weather and stock apps. Users can access the centralized hub at anytime, even if the device is running another app.

Widgets
Example of static weather widget (608) and stock stock widget (610).


Other notable assets are badge app icons relating to the number of notifications sent by a given app, the ability to interact with alerts while the phone is locked and context-sensitive slider functions which bring a user directly to a notifying app from the lock screen.

Slide to Unlock
"Slide to Unlock" alternatives as seen in lock screen.


Apple's patent application was first filed in June 2012 and claims the benefit of a provisional application from June 2011, both of which credit Imran A. Chaudhri and Eliza Block as its inventors. The patent application was cross-filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization in 2012.
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 62
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,293member


    It's all about implementation.

  • Reply 2 of 62
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    It's all about implementation.





    So you're arguing Android doesn't infringe on anything Apple, due to being a different implementation? Good :D

  • Reply 3 of 62
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    To all the people who claim Apple cribbed Android's Notification Bar: WebOS had it first, and Apple hired WebOS's notification engineer. Moreover, you can't get in trouble for taking somebody's work if that work was a derivative of your own copyrighted work. Go ask the guy who wrote an unsolicited screenplay for Rocky 4 and sent it to Stallone in an attempt to get hired. Stallone just took it, made the movie, and didn't pay the guy. The guy sued and the Court ruled that because the guy's work was a derivative of Stallone's work(e.g. Based on character's Stallone created), the guy had no case.
  • Reply 4 of 62
    chabigchabig Posts: 624member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post




    So you're arguing Android doesn't infringe on anything Apple, due to being a different implementation? Good :D



    It's not so simple. Patents are very specific. You have to read the claims to know what the patent protects.

  • Reply 5 of 62


    Let's be real. If it was the other way around and iOS had the notification center years before Android did, people here would be talking sh-- left and right about Android stealing that idea.

  • Reply 6 of 62
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Let's be real. If it was the other way around and iOS had the notification center years before Android did, people here would be talking sh-- left and right about Android stealing that idea.


    Not at all.

    It's really funny how all the Android shills have no concept of intellectual property. I guess that's why they think it's OK to steal IP so blatantly (look at the Tab which was so close to the iPad in appearance that even Samsung's attorneys couldn't tell the difference).

    Here's the way it works:
    A patent is not about an idea. Simply saying that two companies have notification devices patented tells you nothing at all about whether one stole from the other. Read the patent - in particular, the claims. The claims will spell out in detail what is being patented. If that patent is awarded, then no one else can practice what is disclosed in the claims of the patent.

    Now, Apple has a history of using good ideas. They do NOT, however, have a history of slimy companies like Samsung who infringe patents left and right - and seem to think that other companies' patents are their best source of R&D.

    If you have evidence that Apple has infringed a patent, turn it over to the patent owner. And, yes, Apple has lost a few cases like that. But trying to put Apple in the same category as Samsung and Google is absurd. Their entire business models seem to be built on taking others' IP.
  • Reply 7 of 62
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,581member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post




    So you're arguing Android doesn't infringe on anything Apple, due to being a different implementation? Good :D



     


    You know, you aren't doing your cause any favors when you make it so obvious you have no understanding.

  • Reply 8 of 62

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TBell View Post



    To all the people who claim Apple cribbed Android's Notification Bar: WebOS had it first, and Apple hired WebOS's notification engineer. Moreover, you can't get in trouble for taking somebody's work if that work was a derivative of your own copyrighted work. 



    WebOS's notification system was(is?) quite intuitive, and at the time still a ways different from how Android handled the pull down shade. Apple may have hired an engineer but Google hired Duarte who was really responsible for and designed the majority of WebOS which clearly shows in the evolution of the Android UI the last year or so. 


     


    Quote:


    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    Not at all.

    It's really funny how all the Android shills have no concept of intellectual property. I guess that's why they think it's OK to steal IP so blatantly (look at the Tab which was so close to the iPad in appearance that even Samsung's attorneys couldn't tell the difference).


    Relevant to the notification topic how? Oh right, not. Definition of Straw man.  Next.


    Quote:


    Now, Apple has a history of using good ideas. They do NOT, however, have a history of slimy companies like Samsung who infringe patents left and right - and seem to think that other companies' patents are their best source of R&D.



    They certainly don't have a history of willfully infringing no, but they are 'shameless at stealing good ideas'. You're craftily trying to divert attention away from the issue here. iOS had nothing like a notification center before Android exploded, and then suddenly a very similar system, one closer to Android than WebOS. Coincidence I think not. They still are different implementations, and Android's IMO is still much more intuitive. Expandable and swipable notifications, 'clear all', and  no nagging notifications after the app is opened are much easier than that tiny x I have to hit twice and constantly open the weather instead. I wish I had a dollar for every time that happened. Hopefully it improves.

  • Reply 9 of 62
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chabig View Post


    It's not so simple. Patents are very specific. You have to read the claims to know what the patent protects.



    Agreed. That's pretty much why I found mdriftmeyer's comment slightly too short to be sensical, and pointed it out.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


     


    You know, you aren't doing your cause any favors when you make it so obvious you have no understanding.



    I probably have as good an understanding of the issue as you do. But feel free to behave as conceited and arrogant as you wish, you'll make it obvious you have complete understanding of everything under the sun and beyond, and do a lot of good to your cause.

  • Reply 10 of 62
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member


    Mmm, AppleInsider reckons that Google filed their patent in 2009


     


    But Apple filed a notification bar patent on September 11 2008


     


    So, I imagine that it really is all down to the implementation.

  • Reply 11 of 62
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,581member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post


    ... but they are 'shameless at stealing good ideas'. 



     


    I don't think you know what you are trying to paraphrase means.

  • Reply 12 of 62
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,581member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post


    ... I probably have as good an understanding of the issue as you do. But feel free to behave as conceited and arrogant as you wish, you'll make it obvious you have complete understanding of everything under the sun and beyond, and do a lot of good to your cause.



     


    So, you understand it, you were just posting as though you didn't? Ok, glad we cleared that up about you.

  • Reply 13 of 62


    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

    I don't think you know what you are trying to paraphrase means.


     


    Don't bother thinking: he doesn't have the first clue what that means.

  • Reply 14 of 62
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,581member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Don't bother thinking: he doesn't have the first clue what that means.



     


    Well, yes, but that's what he wants us to do, not think.

  • Reply 15 of 62
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    They certainly don't have a history of willfully infringing no, but they are 'shameless at stealing good ideas'.

    OK. So you're obviously intent on proving that you don't have any idea how IP works.

    Ideas are not protectable. One can't get a patent or a trademark on an idea. One gets a patent on a specific implementation of an idea.

    Since ideas are not protectable, they can't really be stolen, anyway.
  • Reply 16 of 62
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    Quote: View Post


     


     


    WebOS's notification system was(is?) quite intuitive, and at the time still a ways different from how Android handled the pull down shade. Apple may have hired an engineer but Google hired Duarte who was really responsible for and designed the majority of WebOS which clearly shows in the evolution of the Android UI the last year or so. 


     



     


    Duarte might have headed up WebOS, but Rich Dellinger was the designer responsible for WebOS's Notification System design. He is at Apple. Apple also hired Peter Hajas, a person who created the popular MobileNotifier program available on Cydia. Apple's Newton Message Pad also had notifications. The issue is more complex than some would lead you to believe. Apple also had a much slower development cycle than Google out of the gate. So it is impossible to know what Apple was working on when Google released its product.


     


    Even if Apple did borrow some of Android's ideas, is it really wrong to steal from somebody you think stole from you? Robin Hood is the hero after all. 

  • Reply 17 of 62
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,510member


    This patent is obvious. Looking at the notification bar patented by Google, this goes just a little further. Putting all settings on the same page? That's trivial. They won't get this one.


    Imagine if everybody patented every invention when computers first appeared...

  • Reply 18 of 62


    Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

    Imagine if everybody patented every invention when computers first appeared...


     


    Yeah? What? Are you pretending that would have had some sort of detrimental effect?

  • Reply 19 of 62
    arlorarlor Posts: 502member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Yeah? What? Are you pretending that would have had some sort of detrimental effect?



     


    It's hard to imagine that it wouldn't have changed things. If Xerox had been more aggressively litigious, Apple might've been in trouble! Xerox certainly had far, far deeper pockets back in the 80s and early 90s.

  • Reply 20 of 62


    Originally Posted by Arlor View Post

    If Xerox had been more aggressively litigious, Apple might've been in trouble! Xerox certainly had far, far deeper pockets back in the 80s and early 90s.


     


    Apple bought their tech from Xerox, period. They DID sue and the DID lose. Because Apple did nothing illegal.

Sign In or Register to comment.