We need a way to disable patents, whether or not you currently have a patent lab.
I was just playing the scientific tutorial, had a very positive revenue stream, bought out the second to last company, and all of a sudden found myself in a massive water deficit, which, in time with a (random, as there were no hacker arrays out) water shortage led me to bleed $2000 per SECOND. I quickly stopped auto-supplying all of my farms, the primary water consumer up to that point, to no avail.
Turns out I'd just aquired the water-powered patent, and all of my blimps were now sucking down my economy's lifeblood for fuel (whereas I had a nice fuel surplus that they had been using just prior to the acquisition).
Anyhow, I couldn't find a way to disable the patent. Can't remember if this can even be done from within a patent lab - but regardless, I didn't have a lab to speak of: it seems like the AI I bought out had won that patent via an auction. So even if you COULD disable patents via the lab, I'd have had to build one first.
So again, I think it's necessary to be able to enable/disable patents you own without needing a patent lab to do so. Thoughts?