Peter Fischer, MultiLing director of business development for Europe, presented yesterday at the 6thGlobal IP Convention (GIPC) in Hyderabad, India. The topic of his presentation, How to reduce risk in your IP portfolio, focused on what risks are inherent in foreign patent filings and how a centralized translation model can help manage that risk for decreased office actions, decreased cost of patent ownership and improved resistance to litigation.
If you think about it, IP attorneys aren’t buying translations for their foreign patent filings. Rather, they are buying reduced risk through well-crafted documents. Word choice can make all the difference and translation is a process that touches every part of the patent prosecution process. For these reasons alone, many Global 500 legal teams are turning to MultiLing for vital IP translation services that are not only technically accurate, but also reduce risk.
Here are a few ways that MultiLing’s best practices can help reduce the risk in your IP portfolio:
People. We believe that translators need to have science and engineering expertise along with linguistics. While word choice and word order are highly important, linguistics cannot solve an engineering problem. The right translators produce quality documents that lead to clarity and hold up through prosecution. They reduce office actions and additional costs down the road. MultiLing’s network of translators is comprised of native-speaking, in-country experts, more than half of whom hold advanced degrees in scientific fields relevant to our clients.
Process. The traditional flat-fan model of translation process relies on trust and old networks. It is inherently broken. No matter how good of a translator you plug into the model, the quality of the translation is limited by the inability to collaborate and communicate. By implementing a centralized, or hub-and-spoke model, one client was able to improve consistency and transparency to the point that they eliminated office actions related to translation quality or clarity and reduced time to grant by six months. Multiple patents were granted without a single rejection. The turnaround time was shorter and the costs were less. How much would you give to improve time to grant by six months? How would that affect your product development cycle?
Technology. Does machine translation have a place in the patent world? Perhaps a very specific place associated with extremely low risk. On the other hand, technology-aided human translation is worth the investment. The same client mentioned in the paragraph above has a translation database of 2 million words and 5,200 concepts. They use 12 translators full-time. Technologies such as translation memory and terminology management not only contribute to the speed of translation, but also provide for consistency and value. In addition, technology to manage translation projects improves transparency for the client, and manages timelines and resources.
According to research by Dr. Alexander Wurzer, director of the Steinbeis Institute for IP Management, the consequences of an incorrect translation include office actions (40%) that can be fixed but are time consuming and expensive; a reduced scope of protection (20%) that is not fixable post-grant; unclear situations that leave you dependent on a judge’s decision; and invalidation. Having an IP services provider that specializes in a centralized model with expert translators and advanced technology is the best way to manage your risk.
The theme for GIPC 2014 (Jan. 16-18) was “Optimizing the economic value of innovation & IPR in the global market.” The conference hosted more than 220 sessions for 1,700 participants from 30 countries. GIPC has become one of the well-known IP events in the world and has the participation of prominent IP practitioners, innovators, technologists, scientists, lawyers, researchers, policy makers and government officials from all parts of the globe.