Hops are the craziest thing- I am a professional grower and buy and sell patented plant material every day. I just have to agree not to propagate them and pay all patent royalties. Patented hops are totally different - they are apparently released to large growers only who agree not to sell any part of the patented plant other than the hop.
Quite possibly the large brewers/growers are paying for the development of these hybrids and thus control all product. The Columbus/Zeus/Tomahawk fiasco is an example of what happens when one of these patented hybrids "gets loose" - people got sued bigtime. So. . . unfortunatly now that plants can be patented the big boys control the show and we are pretty much stuck with varieties that existed before patent law went into effect. Sorry for the rant.