We know what you are thinking, Android had this type of thing running years before it was even a twinkle in the eye of iOS. In fact, Google’s filing for Android’s “notification bar” was back in 2009. However, there are indeed quite a few differences between the platforms. The commonality is “pulling down the shade” to view them and that is about it. Apple’s centralized notification incorporates more “widget” type functions whereas that feature is commonplace all over the Android user experience.
This filing by Apple was done back in June 2012. Since Samsung has alleged that Apple’s centralized notifications for iOS infringes on active patents (assumed to mean the “notification bar”), this will no doubt play a role and make an appearance in future legal drama as the proceedings between Apple and Samsung continue.
sources: USPTO via Apple Insider