Patent translation is an essential support service which is involved with patent filing procedures. This is especially true for patent applications for which protection is being sought in multiple countries either by PCT or Paris Convention filing. In countries where the official language is not in which the patent application has been drafted, translations are an indispensable service.
There are variety of scenarios where translation of patent documents is required, one of them has already been mentioned- filing of patent application in countries whose official language is different from that of the patent document. Some of the other scenarios were translations find application are PCT national phase entry here the applicant has to provide translation for the patent document if the language in which it has been filed is accepted by the Receiving office but is not part of the official languages in which it is seeking protection. Additionally translations also need to be provided before the international search if the ISA (International Search Authority) that has been selected does not accept the language in which the patent application has been filed.
EP Validation is also another procedure where translations play an important role,this a procedure that starts after an EP patent application has been granted. An applicant is provided three months from the grant date for validating the granted patent in the European countries where protection is desired. The validation procedure varies from country to country and in certain cases translation for either the claims or the complete patent document need to be provided Countries such as UK, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland,Germany and a few other impose no post grant translation requirements. The following countries such as Denmark, Finland, Croatia, Albania, Netherlands,Hungary, Norway, Sweden etc. only require translations of the claims of the patent (not the entire specification) in which the patent has been filed. While countries like Portugal, Spain, Austria, Turkey, Poland, Greece, Italy etc. require a translation of the entire specification in the language in which the patent is to be filed. The sequence listing present in the patent also has to be translated.
Another scenario where translation is required is during the Accelerated Examination procedure that is provided by the USPTO. When applying for this procedure, if the patent application claims priority of a non-English patent document,translation has to be provided for the said priority document.
Opposition procedures and court proceedings are some of the other scenarios where translation is used. During various procedures at the patent office or proceedings at the court, any legal or technical document which would be of relevance to the case have be translated if it is not in the official language or language of proceedings. Any prior art document presented which is not in the language of proceedings requires to be translated. Office Actions which need to be understood and responded in a language in which the applicant or applicant’s attorney is not fluent require translation. Other than these legal documents such as notices, amendments etc. also require translation.
Most of the free databases such as Espacenet (EPO), Google Patents, JPO KIPRIS and others provide free machine translation of patent documents. Paid databases also provide machine translated versions of patent documents. However, in both these cases the quality of the translation is not as desired. The major reason for this is the literal translation of words without context, because of this the machine translated text is often difficult. The quality of translation has to be good as it forms an integral part of the patent prosecution procedures. It is imperative that when any translational requirements are present for a patent document a translator is involved to complete the activity, this reduces the possibility of making costly mistakes that could have adverse consequences for the applicant.
We at OutsourceIP are outfitted to provide the Translations in a quick and cost effective manner.