Imagine you’re a patent examiner…

…and someone files this abstract.

Described is an airborne fulfillment center (“AFC”) and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAV”) to deliver items from the AFC to users. For example, the AFC may be an airship that remains at a high altitude (e.g., 45,000 feet) and UAVs with ordered items may be deployed from the AFC to deliver ordered items to user designated delivery locations. As the UAVs descend, they can navigate horizontally toward a user specified delivery location using little to no power, other than to stabilize the UAV and/or guide the direction of descent. Shuttles (smaller airships) may be used to replenish the AFC with inventory, UAVs, supplies, fuel, etc. Likewise, the shuttles may be utilized to transport workers to and from the AFC.

It’s all, “I know! Let’s distribute stuff from the sky.” They don’t how. The warehouse might be a lighter-than-airship. It might be a helicarrier with Stark Industries repulsers. Antigravity maybe. Or a static tethered balloon. Hell, a Space elevator. They haven’t decided on how to restock it either. No tech; just a cool concept.

You’d laugh that filing patent weasel attorney out of the office, telling him to come back when his client has something… you know … patentable.

Oops. I forgot; you’re Examiners Edwards and Smith-Stewart, clearly congenital idiots whose parents and ancestors were way too closely related, for far too many inbred generations. So you award patent number 9,305,280.

Or maybe they aren’t idiots. Maybe they got paid off by Amazon.

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