I think it's more like the patent officers are so caught up in the bureaucracy and legalisms of their office that common sense ceases to apply. I mean, did you see that recent AMA on reddit by the patent examiner?
He or she was so caught up in legal artifice around terms such as prior art, that whether some concept is genuinely worthy of patent protection doesn't even enter the picture. He frets about precise legalese surrounding claims rather than think critically about their value.
This is the nature of the bureaucrats who hold our industry hostage.