Can anyone explain to the uninformed (read... me), how the patents for hops work? Specifically:
1) What exactly do the patents cover? (only grown by a particular farmer, royalties to inventor if grown by others,etc.)
2) How long are the patents good for?
3) What happens when the patents expire?
4) Cascade hops are not patented, did they use to be?
5) Will we ever be able to buy, Amarillo, Citra, and Palisade )etc.) rhizomes?
Thanks in advance from a curious home brewer.