An anonymous reader writes "One day before Amazon is scheduled to unveil its widescreen Kindle aimed at newspaper readers, the e-commerce giant has been awarded its first U.S. patent for an e-book reader. The new patent, D591,741, is a design patent which protects the look and feel of the Kindle shell, not for fundamental technologies. Those patents are mostly held by E Ink Corp., which makes the "liquidless paper" display. Sony, IBM, and the Discovery cable TV network also have e-book patents. Amazon, though the leading e-book seller, has none, but the patent award indicates they've applied for at least four recently"