[suggestion]Clearing up after suffering patent...

The AI now has access to patents, and some of them are willing to use them. This is great except of course it sucks to be on the receiving end. As gameplay goes, this is good. :slight_smile:

The problem is when the AI patents something and now you have one (or 3!) dead lines. There’s currently no easy way to convert that line to something else while the patent is active, even if the line will work fine only with a different ingredient.
The only way to “clear” a line right now is to remove and replace everything, taking a monetary hit on belts and all the hassle it involves.

It’d be great if there was a “clear products” tool, similar to delete but that would only clears the designated belts/machines of any product that was on it.

+1 to that, or the option for patent protected stocks to be discarded at the exit port, as costly as that might be.

The problem with the AI using patents is they can be a bit trigger happy and its not until fairly late in the research tree that you’ll be able to unlock some kind of visibility on what they’re up to.

It would be nice to understand perhaps when a patent process has been started (but without knowing the drafting period) to give you chance to clear your stocks and switch your production.

Switches would also be nice; my favourite tactic to avoid a patent is to change the delivery mechanism for a drug, so if they protect a pill, i’ll switch it to a cream or a sachet. It would be cool if this could be pre-empted and you just flip a switch to change the route the drugs take through a T-Junction, although yes, you can build this and just delete a corner and replace it.

There are a few options:
Delete one key belt feeding into your maker (pill maker, creamer, etc.), Then you can wait out the patent and restart it.
You can click the input port and “stop” the ingredient from importing (the remainder of your line will continue to run if you leave it alone - and violate patent).
Delete the product only -see below.

There is. CTRL delete was implemented to do just that - delete only ingredients on belts and in machines. You should see the highlighted sqaure(s) change to yellow (as opposed to red) when deleting ingredients only.

Well, you can, using Industrial Espionage, but as you noted " its not until fairly late in the research tree that you’ll be able to unlock some kind of visibility"

Using that you can determine the drafting period (and therefore the Patent Duration) but have to do some math.
See the “patent” part of this post:

For a one year patent, I do. For a 6 year patent… :slight_smile:

Oh yes, so it does. The text even says that. But not very discoverable. I was thinking of having a button that comes out with a choice of which delete, like with when you choose machines.

The easiest way to deal with patents is simply to change your makers from Pills to Creamer or vice versa.

Patents only effect a particular type of maker. So a patent effecting Soothes Cough Pills won’t effect Soothes Cough Cream.

I did.
And then they patented that too! :frowning:
And sachet makers aren’t anywhere near as tesselateable! :frowning: (plus being much larger I had to halve production)

My suggestion is to be smarter than AI.

Keep constatly an eye over the company tab. Check constantly if they have created a drug with same characteristics than yours, and also keep an eye over the “patents” field when checking their finances (When selecting a competitor/your own company, finances tab will switch and show the selected company finances, not only their products).

If you see a number on the “patents” field, it’s because they have spent that money for creating a patent (remember: finances tab shows incomes/spends over last 12 months). When that happens, it’s the best time for trying to be faster than them and try to patent your product before them, or if you don’t have the money, switch to a creamer and patent that product instead before they do so. Whenever you see that a competitor releases a product which could be patented and ban you to produce it, try to patent it before it’s too late.

However, it’s not easy to be smarter than AI, because sometimes they patent products which doesn’t even compete with yours. Take your time and consider any variable or data you can use to decide if take the risk or try to patent. And, of course, if a competitor tries to get rid of your cures, counterattack with a patent earlier than they do when switching from pills to creams or whatever.

PS: when using creams, you can always try to add a side-effect to your drug so it doesn’t fits the patent. You won’t get as much profit from it, but still, it’s something.