The annals of stupid, sloppy patents have a new world-beating entry: Amazon has received a patent on taking pictures of stuff on a white background. The patent's particulars specify a well-known lighting arrangement that minimizes shadows and post-production cleanup. As DIY Photography points out, there's a huge corpus of prior art on this that Amazon didn't disclose in its filing, and the USPTo appeared to have done no due diligence before giving the company a 20-year monopoly on a common studio technique.
The patent number is 8,676,045B1 and you can read the entire boring text on USPTO, or just about any basic studio photography book.
You Can Close The Studio, Amazon Patents Photographing On Seamless White [Udi Tirosh/DIY Photography]