Not as bad as it seems
Settle down, move along, there's nothing to see here. First, it's a design patent -- so it's only protecting non-functional ornamental features (though frankly I don't find that it is all that ornamental, but then I'm more in to steampunk). Second, if you look at Figs. 7 and 8 you will see that the back of the plug appears to incorporate a USB receptacle. So this is a USB power adapter that plugs in to an automobile power receptacle.
The big clue to this is the "D" that precedes the patent number. That stands for "Design."
I'm surprised that a tech-savvy publication such as the Register would make such a basic mistake.