Google Patents shows a filing that was made by the Mountain View based firm back in January 2009. Application 12/363,325 seeks a trademark for "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." All fancy talk describing a Notifications Bar.
So why has Google's attorneys kept their hands in their pockets? Simple. Even though the filing was made in early 2009, the patent is still pending. So there it is. You can be sure that Google has an Army of well-paid lawyers just waiting and waiting and waiting for the day that the USPTO makes the patent official.
source: Google via Phandroid