What Is Technical System in TRIZ ?
Y. B. Karasik,
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
In response to my recent article "What is system in TRIZ ?" I received a letter
from a reader who wished to remain anonymous. He proposed the following definition of a technical system:
Since "TRIZ was based on analysing patents, ...,
a technical system in TRIZ constitutes a statutory subject matter for patent according to a patent law (about statutory subject matter for patent see,
for example: http://www.techtransfer.harvard.edu/IntellectualProperty.php?IP_branch=IP-Patents). In other words, anything that is called Tech System in TRIZ
is a legitimate subject matter for patent. In other words, it is not defined in terms of a "theory of systems", but rather in legal terms of patent law."
Besides being factually inaccurate (a group of objects responsible for an unwanted situation is also called SYSTEM in TRIZ), the above definition begs the following questions:
- Slight modifications to technical systems are hardly patentable because do not satisfy the criterion of novelty. Are they not technical systems then ?
- Software systems were not patentable until recently. Were they not technical systems then ?
- If the detailed description of a machine (or method) was first published in a journal, such machine (or method) cannot be patented. Does it cease to
be a technical system then ?
- Patent law varies from country to country. What is patentable in one country may not be patentable in another. Does it mean that what is a technical system
in Japan may turn out to be not a technical system in the US ?
- Machines and inventions existed from the times immemorial when no patent law existed. Are machines of the ancient Egypt not technical systems then ?