We recently got some fresh yeast in from Brewlab and it was a slightly odd experience getting it. For home brewers they provide a number of strains, none of which have a brewery name attached, but a region and some details are given. I was surprised to find that when I asked about what yeasts they had for commercial breweries I was simply told to let them know what I'm looking for and they'd provide a strain.
So I did, and sure enough they did too. But no further details at all. This lead to the pondering. Is it possible to own a yeast strain? Surely for any cask conditioned beer it wouldn't be too much trouble to isolate and propagate the yeast if you wanted to? No genetically modified yeasts are used in brewing so I don't think they can be patented. All I can think of is that they're being cagey about breweries names in case they infringe trademarks. Does anyone know how yeast strain ownership works, if there is such a thing?