The problem is the word "patents." What you want is:
What kind of patent is being issued...
It is singular because you are talking about the kind in the singular. You could pluralize as:
What kinds of patent are being issued...
So the problem is that you pluralized patents; that is that part that sounds strange.
UPDATE: Based on Barrie's answer, I gave this a little more thought. I thought a little more analysis might be useful. The phrase "kind of patent" is a genitive structure, where "kind" is the noun, and "patent" is the restriction. To be clear, the basic purpose of the genitive is to place a restriction on the word to which it is applied. The word "patent" restricts "kind". There are many "kinds" in the world, but the only "kind" we are interested in are ones that pertain to patents.
Since "patent" is not the subject of the sentence, merely a qualifier on the actual subject, then it does not affect the verb conjugation for number. However, for the same reason, it is probably the case that it can be either plural or singular. It doesn't really matter in a sense. In one case we are treating it as an uncountable, an abstract, and in the other as a countable, a concrete. A person who writes patents could be called a "Patent lawyer", but that doesn't mean he only deals with a single patent. I suppose he could also be called a "patents lawyer", but that is not the idiom. I think the same applies in this case.
However, in this specific case, because of the proximity of the genitive to the verb, it makes for a little confusion, and so, unless there is a good reason to the contrary, a singular seems the optimum choice here.
To me, in the second case "what kinds of patent(s) are..." the proximity of the singular to the plural verb is less of a clash, but I recognize that views may differ on this.