see title^

What about them?

Once researched you can apply for patents. 20k per year for up to 4 years. Once active, the patent applies to a specific set of cure+side effects (regardless of which order they are in). After the patent expires, that set of cure effects can not be patented again by any entity. Activating a patent takes a quarter of the time for how long it will apply, so if you apply for a 4 year patent, it will take effect after 1 year. A patent completely prevents competitors from selling products with the same set of effects as the product you patented after is is introduced and until it expires.

Ah yes, quite a good addition!