You're right the USPTO is a pit.
There is also the issue of abuse of process. In this case by applying them on competitors and selectively.
If you want the patent office really riled up ask them about free energy devices. Here's an excerpt from the T. Henry Moray story that illustrates the other side of the patent office.
T. Henry Moray And The Suppression Of Free Energy
By: Alain Prud'homme
Shortly after World War one Moray produced his first elementary device that delivered measurable electrical power. He then went on to produce a free energy device weighing sixty pounds and producing 50,000 watts of electricity for several hours.
Even thought he demonstrated his device repeatedly to scientists and engineers, he could not get funding to develop his device further such as a power station that would furnish electrical power on a mass scale.
Moray continued improving his machine whenever he had the time.
Test after test he effectively proved that his machine could generate energy devoid of any appreciable energy input. According to exhaustive documentation, no one was ever capable of demonstrating that the machine was fraudulent or that Moray had not achieved precisely what he claimed.
During one of his experiments Moray ran his device for 157 hours without any connection to external power sources, and produced over fifty kilowatts of power during the test.
He also established that an additional fifty kilowatts could be added by simply providing another tap further back in the circuit. He had proven beyond doubt that the device was generating electrical energy from free and natural sources without batteries or external power.
Even with all his demonstrations and documentation to back him up, the U.S. Because his device used a cold cathode in the tubes and he failed to identify the source of energy, the Patent Office refused to grant Moray a patent.
The patent office also presented all sorts of unrelated patents and devices as being infringed upon or duplicated by his work. Moray patiently answered and nullified these spurious objections to his patent.
To this day the U.S. Patent Office continues to ignore the patent application and the patent has still not been issued. In spite of all this the Morays still keep the patent application current.
Moray was certainly not the first nor the last inventor that the U.S. Patent Office ignored or refused to grant patents to. A quick search on the internet will confirm this.
I hypothesize that this is a way in which the US government and various vested interests try to suppress inventions in various fields.
In the 1930s various powerful people tried to obtain the device. Because he refused to sell out to these people he and his family were threatened and shot at on several occasions and his lab ransacked to stop his free energy research and public demonstrations.
His book, The Sea of Energy in Which the Earth Floats [THE SEA OF ENERGY IN WHICH THE EARTH FLOATS, For Beyond the Light Rays Lies the Secret of the Universe, The Evolution of Energy and Matter Originally compiled for the Layman in 1926 from excerpts of the Writings first presented in 1914] makes for interesting reading.
In his book Moray presents documented evidence that he invented the first transistor-type valve in 1925, far ahead of the officially recognized discovery of the transistor.
The Moray Radiant Energy discovery, using radiations from the cosmos as its power source, gives the greatest amount of energy per pound of equipment of any system known to man.