A patent is supposed to be granted when, “the solution to a problem is not obvious to a person skilled in the art and the invention involves an inventive step.” Here’s an example of just how broken the system is. Surely 6 Billion “prior-arts” can’t be wrong:
Apparatus for moistening adhesive coatings on postage material and the like which includes an enclosure having a container of liquid therein. A plunger is provided to lift an absorbant applicator from the liquid and pass the applicator through an opening in the side of the enclosure. A closure member for the opening is opened in response to the applicator movement. The applicator may be in the form of a human tongue and the closure may be in the form of a human lip.
Read the full patent on the USPTO website.