September 22, 2008
A story from Apple Insider last week discussed some Apple patent filings that collectively promised an enhanced notification system of missed communications. According to the article, one of the patents "discusses improvements to the iPhone's notification dialog that informs users of missed calls, text messages, and voicemails when they're away from their phone or the phone is locked." Sound a little like the popular jailbroken app Intelliscreen? Well renowned iPhone hacker and forensics expert Jonathan Zdziarski thinks so too, lambasting Apple in a post on his site: "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that this is a clear rip-off of the commercial Intelliscreen product." Zdziarski wonders if Apple is being unlawfully anti-competitive. They've already relegated IntelliScreen to the jailbroken market by banning its inclusion from the App Store. With a successfully granted USPTO patent, however, they could prevent Intelliborn's distribution of the app all together. This isn't the first time Apple's been accused of "stealing" either. As Zdziarski notes, Apple received some heat in 2004 when it unveiled its Dashboard. Many said it was a copycat of Konfabulator, a $25 Mac program with strikingly similar functionality.