Big island in hawaii for The vagueness of the language in the Statute has left the task of interpreting which inventions and discoveries are excluded to the courts. Over the last 20 years, court rulings have considerably expanded the definition of patentable subject matter. Accordingly, classes of inventions that would have likely been considered nonpatentable in earlier times are now protected with patents. Notable among these are genetically modified living organisms, gene fragments, software programs, and business methods. These changes in legal doctrine have been quite significant in light of the rapid pace of technological advances in the relevant fields and have generated considerable controversy. Criteria for a patent. Provided that the invention constitutes patentable subject matter, the decision as to whether to grant a patent hinges on three criteria: the invention must be useful, novel, and non-obvious. Big island in hawaii 2016.