What you’re looking at above you is Google’s application for a patent on their notification bar system, filed back in January of 2009. Yeah, things move slow over at the USTPO. Application number 12/363,325 which is still pending is described as,
Guess all we can do now is play the waiting game because, ohhhhh man, once/if this patent is granted, Apple is so — for lack of better word — screwed.
“A computer-implemented user notification method includes displaying, in a status area near a perimeter of a graphical interface, a notification of a recent alert event for a mobile device, receiving a user selection in the status area, and in response to the receipt of the user selection, displaying, in a central zone of the graphical interface, detail regarding a plurality of recent messaging events for the mobile device.”
Source: Google Patents