In an application filed last year and made public last month by United States Patent and Trademark Office, Apple is seeking a patent for technology that displays advertising in a device operating system, almost anything that has a screen of some kind: computers, phones, televisions, media players, game devices and other consumer electronics. Filing a patent application, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean that the company plans to use the technology. But the application shows, at the least, that Apple has invested in research to develop what it calls an “enforcement routine” that makes people watch ads they may not want to watch. The patent specifically covers technology that would allow "the operating system [to be] configured to temporarily disable a function thereof and present the advertisement in the device while the function is disabled," meaning that the ad delivery system would likely sidestep measures to block the messages by being an integrated part of the OS.
More info: NYT