The Value of Patent Translation Services
Patent translation services straddle a pivotal crossroads in the translation industry, demanding both legal and technical expertise from patent translation providers. Patents offer certain legal protections to an enterprise’s intellectual property (IP), maximizing opportunities for profit in both local and international markets. Applying for a patent in a particular jurisdiction or country is a necessary step to expanding into that territory.
Patent translation can be arduous, particularly for companies in highly technical fields. The best patent translation service companies employ in-country native linguists, scientists, engineers and legal specialists to help multinational enterprises safeguard their IP from industry poachers. Proficient patent translation services deliver quality, consistent and on-time translations at a fair value. It is often these factors that mean the difference between introducing a valuable new product to a vast virgin market and losing out to a local competitor peddling an all-too-similar product.
International Patent Translation
International patent translation companies are entrusted with transferring vital legal and technical documents into target languages. For foreign patent filings, translation companies must produce translations for patent applications, documents for participating in the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH), litigation or infringement documents or documents relating to research and the development stages of a product.
Because of the level of expertise required to outfit these documents in a variety of languages, finding the right patent translation company can be a challenge. Globally minded companies require global patent translation services across a range of language combinations. Many of the most competitive markets require expertise in languages such as:
- Japanese. As one of the world’s five leading patent filers (according to the World Intellectual Property Organization), Japan is very competitive when it comes to patent translation. Japanese companies are innovating at a rapid pace, and multinational organizations are filing patents to bring their products to Japanese markets.
- Chinese. With 1.3 billion Mandarin speakers worldwide, China has always been linguistically influential. China has also experienced tremendous growth in patent filing, growing 13.6% in 2012. Enterprises seeking to target China’s burgeoning marketplace require patent translation. Chinese companies also wish to bring their products to other markets as well, requiring foreign patent translation.
- French. Though not a world leader in patent filings, or patent translation, French markets will always be a target jurisdiction for many companies, and French products will always be in high demand from chic consumers.
- German. Known for its industrious people, Germany is also numbered among the world’s top five patent filers with 18,855 filed with the PCT in 2012. Germany is not only a leader in patent filing, but is also a desirable market because of its location in the heart of Europe, a fact that attracts the interest of many global companies who turn to patent translation. German language combinations can be especially tricky, requiring longer words to convey meaning. Just a 78 character tweet in English can equal about 110 characters in German.
- Russian. When it comes to patent translation, Russian markets are also in high demand. Worldwide, Russian speakers number in the hundreds of millions.
- Spanish. For foreign patent translation, Spanish is another high-demand language with a total of 500 million speakers across the globe.
- Korean. South Korea rounds out the list for the world’s top five patent filers. With 11,848 filings (a 13.4% increase), Korean patent translation is also on the rise.
Naturally, international markets are always in a state of flux. Some of these patent translation languages will be less than vital within the next few years, particularly when the European Union begins its patent system reform. This will allow innovators or companies to have a single patent (in French, German, or English) apply to the 27 EU member countries. Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Japanese patent translation will continue to be competitive markets as the reform will not apply to those countries’ languages.
Styles Used by Global Patent Translation Firms
Whatever the language you require for your patent translation, there are a range of services styles from which to choose. Bear in mind that not every patent translation service provider is created equal.
To start, the two basic translation styles are machine translation and human translation.
Machine Patent Translation
Machine translation relies on computer programs with built-in dictionary and thesaurus capabilities to translate documents word for word. This can provide an extremely fast turn-around, but can also cause problems with incorrect word usage and imprecise translations. Some machine patent translation services will offer human proofreading to correct any obvious errors.
Human Patent Translation
Human translations can take longer than computerized ones, but the personalized touch of human knowledge usually turns out better results. Humans are more adept at translating conveyed tone and style in documents, as well as understanding the specific nuances of the target country, language and industry.
For business concerns, too much is riding on a nuanced understanding of highly complex language to leave IP translation to a machine. That is why the majority of reputable patent translation firms offer human translations, usually by in-country native linguists, scientists, engineers and legal specialists, that may be augmented with technology support.
Decentralized Patent Translation:
Patent language translation services can be broken down further into decentralized and centralized models. Until the late twentieth century, multinational enterprises wanting to expand their global business were limited to one inefficient solution: dozens of worldwide teams tasked with handling IP translations and other patent filing services across multiple languages.
Centralized Patent Translation:
Proven best practices now include centralized processes, which streamline translation and other foreign patent filing tasks to interactive teams that report to enterprise project owners. Instead of requiring multiple managers for each language, centralized processes provide more organized services with strong deadlines and reporting channels.
When combined with other best practices for foreign patent filings, centralized patent document translation also reduce translation errors and office actions, increaseing quality, consistency, and on-time delivery at a fair value.
MultiLing’s Patent Translation Service
MultiLing employs a unique centralized human translation process. We employ in-country native linguists, scientists, engineers, and legal specialists who provide accurate, timely patent translations. Because our employees have experience in the fields of the patents we translate, they have a firm grasp of the specific terms used in your field.
MultiLing’s specialized teams coordinate their patent translation tasks, streamlining the process and increasing the volume of translations without skimping on quality. Additionally, by utilizing fewer employees and external consultants during the patent translation process, MultiLing offers greater security to our clients.
We also focus on terminology management during the patent language translation process. Each of our clients has a detailed glossary of terms that can be standardized throughout their related patents and other documents.
Another benefit of MultiLing’s patent document translation services is our ongoing investment in technologies. MultiLing is determined to constantly improve our translation services, project management, and desktop publishing with technology and new programs. These investments significantly contribute to
- Increased patent filings
- Decreased office actions
- Reduced invalidation risk
- Faster time to grant
- Improved translation quality
- Reduced errors
MultiLing’s expert patent translation teams are bolstered by proprietary translation software, allowing for « translation memory » which enables the reuse of previous translations while also preserving application formatting. Terminology databases constantly track and capture terms and provide consistent updates to MultiLing teams, enabling company-wide resource sharing.
At MultiLing, we offer many kinds of document translation, patent translation being among our most in-demand services. We apply top industry quality controls and tried-and-tested patent translation tips to constantly improve our services, allowing us to provide decades of leading commercial patent translation practices.
Contact MultiLing, Provider of Patent Translation Services to Fortune Global 500 Legal Teams
For the top team in patent translation services, contact MultiLing. We eliminate human errors, while providing transparent, responsive service, earning us the longstanding loyalty of global powerhouses like IBM, Procter & Gamble, Thermo Fischer Scientific and Promise Technology. Contact us today for a quote on your intellectual property translations.