Here is Claim 1 from the patent application:
1. A system for aerial delivery of items to a destination location, comprising: a plurality of unmanned aerial vehicles, each of the plurality of unmanned aerial vehicles configured to aerially transport items; an unmanned aerial vehicle management system, including: a processor; and a memory coupled to the processor and storing program instructions that when executed by the processor cause the processors to at least: receive a request to deliver an item to a destination location; and send to an unmanned aerial vehicle of the plurality of unmanned aerial vehicles, delivery parameters identifying a source location that includes the item and a destination location; wherein the unmanned aerial vehicle, in response to receiving the delivery parameters, is further configured to at least: navigate to the source location; engage the item located at the source location; navigate a navigation route to the destination location; and disengage the item.
There is absolutely nothing there that hasn't been discussed thousands of times before and been a staple of science fiction for decades. But if this gets approved, no one but Amazon will be allowed to do this, just as it's becoming technologically feasible.
Remember, every claim in a patent is like a little patent in itself. Whatever else is contained in the patent, anything that matches all the features of any single claim is infringing. And there's nothing in that claim that's original or innovative in any way. Actually building a drone delivery network will require solving a lot of hard technological problems, and some of those solutions might legitimately be patentable. But this has nothing to do with that.
Actually, it's even worse than that. Here's the last paragraph of the application:
From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that, although specific implementations have been described herein for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without deviating from the spirit and scope of the appended claims and the elements recited therein. In addition, while certain aspects are presented below in certain claim forms, the inventors contemplate the various aspects in any available claim form. For example, while only some aspects may currently be recited as being embodied in a computer readable storage medium, other aspects may likewise be so embodied. Various modifications and changes may be made as would be obvious to a person skilled in the art having the benefit of this disclosure. It is intended to embrace all such modifications and changes and, accordingly, the above description to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense.
So the incredibly general claims should be interpreted even more generally. They're basically claiming complete ownership of the concept of delivering things with drones, including "all such modifications and changes" that anyone might reasonably think of.