Patent Translations

FAQ

FAQ

Protect your invention by using professional patent translation services.

Translating patent documents has become an essential part of the patent registration process, and more generally in patent protection.

What exactly is a patent?

A patent is the exclusive rights to an invention for a definite amount of time, granted by an institution or authority. This prevents other companies from making, using or selling the invention. However, despite patents usually being registered with international offices, protection is not always guaranteed for patent owners. This is where translation services are necessary. 

When do you need patent translation services?

Translation services are required and needed at every stage of a patent’s existence, from the preliminary process to registration. Sometimes, it can even be needed after the patent has been granted for litigation or information purposes.

Choosing the translation agency that will handle your patent documents is a decision that must not be taken lightly. Translation costs will vary between different translation companies, and it can be tempting to go for the most cost-effective option. But when protecting your intellectual property, there are other elements you need to consider in order to get the best results in the long run.

  1. Industry-specific knowledge

When hiring a professional translation company, make sure they have all the necessary knowledge and expertise to handle the different industries involved. Patent documents cover a wide range of industries, requiring an in-depth understanding of specific terminology and technical terms.

They include financial documents, legal files and prior art files, as well as drawings, references, and patent laws and conventions.  Choosing an agency that specialises in patent matters will ensure that you receive high-quality translations, no matter the diversity of the files involved.

  1. Experience

The level of reliability, competence and professionalism of a translation agency relies heavily on its experience. The more experienced the company is, the more professional it gets. Throughout the years, they will have gained skills and expertise that benefit both them and their clients. An experienced translation agency will have refined their processes to ensure they deliver quality results every time.

They will also be more familiar with the necessary legislations and formalities, for example with the European Patent Office or the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Patents are also subject to national laws, and so the systems in place can differ from country to country. This knowledge and experience will help ensure your translated documents tick all the right boxes, keeping your invention protected.

  1. Language proficiency and expertise

An experienced translation company will also understand the importance of working with native speakers who are subject matter experts. This guarantees that they have mastered your target language, and that they have the necessary expertise to translate your patent documents accurately.

Hiring a professional translation company working solely with native speakers will ensure that your documents comply with the rules and regulations of the relevant authorities.

A professional agency for all your translation needs

Whether you want to register your patent, protect a patent already granted, or need to file legal claims regarding your industrial or intellectual property, we have the right translation solutions for you.

At Intertranslations, we guarantee that your patent documents will be translated by native speakers of your target language who are experts in patent translation. They will make sure your translations comply with local patent laws, and if needed, we can also offer certified, sworn and notarised translations.

Meanwhile, our project managers are on hand to guide you through the entire translation process, making sure our services meet all your needs and requirements. We also know that security is essential for protecting your data and information. Our company is fully cyber essentials and GDPR compliant, and we offer non-disclosure agreements signed by both our in-house and freelance teams.

From patent specifications, claims and annexes, to reports and patent licensing contracts, we can handle any type of documents relating to your property. Whether you need the full patent translating in its entirety or only select areas, our team are ready to help.

Before having your invention patented, there is an entire process which must be followed to the exact letter. When filing for an international patent, translation services are a crucial part of this process.

Patent applications follow strict regulations

Patent applications are strictly regulated by legislations which come from the individual institution granting patents. For instance, patents within the European Union are regulated by the European Patent Convention (EPC) of the European Patent Office (EPO).

Guidelines might differ depending on which authority you apply to for your patent, but most patent systems have some general similarities:

  • The application must be filed in the local language of the institution or authority, including all the patent documents included in your application

  • The application must include prior art documents (also called state of the art documents) and other references to support your claims regarding your innovation

As such, translating prior art documents plays an important role in the patent examination process. It is crucial that you do thorough research and present any prior art documents to the patent examiners, proving the originality of your invention.

You can find these types of documents on official patent databases such as Espacenet. Developed by the European Patent Office, this free online database features millions of documents which have been collected by patent offices over the years.

The linguistic challenges of patent applications

However, the documents relating to any prior art that you want to include in your patent application might be in a foreign language. You might also be preparing an international application with foreign institutions, such as the European Patent Office or the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

In either of these cases, you will need professional translation services in order to complete your application. Translating patent documents, and especially prior art documents, requires a high level of expertise. By working with subject matter experts, you can make sure the translated files comply with all the relevant legislations, standards and guidelines.

Choose a professional translation agency

Translated documents hold great importance in your application, and so choosing a translation agency should not be taken lightly. Budget and deadlines are important factors, but the cheapest or the fastest does not mean your translated documents will be of a high quality.

The translators in charge of your project must be native speakers who have mastered the target language. They must also have experience handling patents and working in your industry. That way, you can guarantee the precision and accuracy of any specific terminology and terms.

Producing quality translations for 25 years

At Intertranslations, we have been helping clients with all their communication needs and requirements for the past 25 years. Using this experience, we have developed our own strict processes to ensure that we deliver high-quality results while respecting your deadlines and filing dates. 

Working with us guarantees that your patent documents will be translated by native speakers of your target language who are experts in patent translation. They will make sure your translations comply with local patent laws, and if needed, we can also offer certified, sworn and notarised translations.

 

Meanwhile, our project managers are on hand to guide you through the entire translation process, making sure our services meet all your needs and requirements. Plus, with an in-house multilingual desktop publishing team, we can work on any file format or type of media for a comprehensive translation service.

We also know that security is essential for protecting your data and information. Our company is fully GDPR compliant and offer non-disclosure agreements, which are signed by both our in-house and freelance teams.

Now more than ever, translation services play an important role in patent-related matters,

Professional patent translation services are a necessity for anyone looking to fully protect their industrial or intellectual property. Regardless of whether the translation is for information purposes or a patent application, it must be done by a native speaker who is an industry expert. That way, you can make sure you receive a top quality translation of the highest accuracy, ensuring your property stays protected.

The role of translation in protecting your patent

From patent filing to information purposes and legal claims, translation has become necessary in more ways than one when it comes to protecting patent documents. Here are three of the most common situations where you might need patent documents translating, before, during and after your patent application.

  1. Information purposes

Translating documents, patents and reports of previous inventions is essential for understanding any existing industrial and intellectual property. As such, companies often request patent translation services in order to better understand an invention or to help with their own research.

Having an accurate translation of previous research, prior art, and other documentations—even just for information purposes—will also help protect your own patent. This will give you precise data to base your own statements on, helping create a solid case for your own patent.

If the translation of the information you need contains any errors, then the consequences could include financial and legal issues. Since accuracy is essential in this situation, you would be best using a professional translation service to help protect you and your property.

When used for internal research, you can also choose between human translation, advanced machine translation, or a combination with post-editing. Each approach has its own benefits and drawbacks, so make sure to get advice and find a solution tailored to your needs.

  1. Patent application

Patent applications are intricate, requiring high precision and accuracy with no room for errors. Patent offices also require all documents submitted during an application to be translated into their local language. This includes patent specifications, prior art, contracts and references.

For English-speaking countries, this is less of an issue as several institutions and patent authorities have defined English as one of their main languages. However, many other countries will require expert legal translation services in order to fulfil these application requirements.

For instance, to register a patent at the European Patent Office (EPO), documents must be submitted in either English, German or French. However, many of the European Union’s 27 member states do not speak these languages, and so applicants will often need their documents translating.

Any issues with the translated documents could jeopardise your entire patent application. Therefore, it is essential not only to translate your documents, but also to make sure the translation is of the highest quality. This will give your application the best chances of success, helping protect your innovation.

  1. Litigation

While your rights to your invention might be recognised by different authorities, others can still infringe on those rights. Using a professional translation agency—especially one that works with legal translators—is crucial when filing legal claims regarding your industrial or intellectual rights.

If you have an invention patented by the EPO, you might need to file legal claims in a European country. This will involve translating documents into the language of the local legal institutions in order to assert your rights and protect your property.

Protect your property with professional translations

If you want to guarantee the protection of your patent, then your best bet is to hire a professional translation company. Whether you are in the process of registering your patent or need to enforce your rights, Intertranslations can help.

Working with us means that your patent documents will be translated by subject matter experts who are native speakers of your target language. ISO certified for accuracy and quality, our processes will ensure you receive the best translation possible.

We offer a full range of patent translation services at very competitive rates. This includes everything from applications, descriptions and drawings, to prior art and legal matters in a patent dispute. 

We also have an in-house desktop publishing department which allows us to work with any file type. This means we can handle non-editable files and images, delivering professionally formatted documents that are ready for use.

Adapting our services to suit your needs, we can offer certified, sworn and notarised translations. Depending on how you want to use the translation, we also offer both human and advanced machine translation services. Whichever service you need, we are cyber essentials and GDPR compliant, and will protect your property through non-disclosure agreements.

Translating patents into local languages is essential for protecting your property. This requires both advanced legal and linguistic skills, so it would be best to seek professional advice.

What is a patent and why do people need them?

A patent grants exclusive rights to the invention of either a product or process that is completely new. The owner of the patent has the legal right to prohibit others from making, using or selling their invention without their authorisation. This protection lasts for a maximum of 20 years within the authorised territory, and if used without permission, the owner can take infringement action. 

Patentability aims to promote technological innovation. Inventors are granted exclusive rights for a limited time, but in return, they must publicly disclose the details of their invention. The protection ends when the exclusive title expires, and when this happens, the invention is put into public domain. This means anyone can then use the invention for commercial purposes, without infringing the patent law.

In most countries, the patent system follows national laws, and as such, a patent is only valid within a given territory. As such, when filing for a patent, the inventor will have to make a separate application for each country where they want protection.

What are the conditions for obtaining a patent?

Filing for a patent involves a rigorous procedure, and the invention needs to meet several criteria. 

There are three conditions for patentability; novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability. The invention must not be made public before the date of application, and must be a real process or product that offers a new solution. Anything that is too obvious will not meet the inventive step criterion.

It also needs to be possible to actually manufacture the invention, since patents are only granted for concrete achievements and not abstract ideas. As such, discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical methods, computer programs and artistic creations cannot be patented.

As well as the above, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, adopted in 1883, states that inventions must be new and offer a solution that has never been used before. This is necessary for European patent applications.

In the UK, patents are territorial rights and a UK patent only gives you protection within the UK and the Isle of Man. Once the patent is granted, the inventor will have to pay renewal fees every year to keep it in force and continue the protection. This fee increases with each year.

How do you obtain patents in European countries?

European patents are granted through a single centralised system with the European Patent Office (EPO). When making your application, you can choose to apply for protection in just some or all member countries of the European Patent Convention (EPC). This means that a European patent can offer protection in up to 170 countries, giving the same rights in each country as individual national patents.

Your file can be in any language, along with a translation into one of the official languages of the EPO—French, German and English. The EPO will then examine and determine the patentability of the invention. If all the conditions for patentability are met, a notice of the European patent being granted will be published in the EPO’s Official Bulletin.

In the European Union, the Paris Convention also grants a right of priority. This means that when a person files a patent in one of the member states, they are given one year from the initial application date to file their patent application in other member countries. During this time, they are given priority over anyone else making an application for the same invention.

If you want protection in three or more member countries, then a European patent will be more cost-effective than applying for individual national patents. Whichever route you choose, it is important to seek professional legal advice in order to make sure your application is filed correctly.

How do you obtain an international patent?

Legal translation is a necessary part of any international patent application.

The Patent Cooperation Treaty, or PCT, makes it possible for inventors to gain patent protection in a number of countries with a single application. These applications can be filed with the EPO or at the international office of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation). An international search report will then be made and published.

After an international application has been made, you have a 30-month period from the original filing date to enter the national phase. During this time, you must apply specifically to any countries where you want to protect your invention. If you want protection in ten countries, then you will need to make ten separate applications. During the national phase, you will need to follow the different procedures of each country.

Why do patents need translating?

Whether applying for a European or international patent, translation is essential for obtaining a patent in more than one country. You need to provide translations of all the necessary documents in the official languages of each designated country. This is the only way to protect your invention in multiple countries.

Mistakes in translation can have serious consequences, including litigation, rejecting the patent application, or failure to protect the invention. This is why patent translations must be done by a sworn translation agency with legal expertise. They will be able to deliver high quality translations that comply with international standards, regulations and laws.

Using a sworn translator will ensure that your official documents are accurate, and that the translation complies with the local laws of the target country. They will also know the right terminology to use, delivering a translation which is precise, clear and unambiguous for full protection.

Choose a sworn translator to translate your patent documents into the target languages of each country. That way, you can keep your patent rights in force and give your invention full protection. 

Sworn translations with Intertranslations

Specialising in the specific laws of individual countries, our legal translation team are ready to help translate all your official texts. Familiar with European regulations and laws, as well as international laws and institutions, we handle over 350 language pairs and work with clients worldwide.

ISO certified, we make every effort to deliver quality services. Using strict processes, legal experts and computer-assisted translation tools, we offer the best turnaround times and cost-effective solutions. We do all this while respecting the confidentiality of your documents through non-disclosure agreements.

Patent translation is a delicate affair for both inventors and translators.

For translation in general, different types of documents come with a number of different challenges. These usually stem from the industries involved, the use of complex terminology, the target audience, and any differences between the source and target languages.

When it comes to patent translation specifically, there are 3 main challenges that a translator will likely need to overcome.

  1.   Terminology and accuracy

When translating patent documents, one of the main challenges is how to correctly translate terminology and industry-specific jargon. Whether the translation is for a patent application, research or prior art, accuracy is essential. Any mistranslations or inconsistencies could have dire consequences, leading to the refusal of a patent registration or even litigation.

  1.   Language proficiency

Language proficiency is important for any translation project, including patent translation. The translator must have a deep understanding of the source language, and they also need to be native speakers of the target language. This will allow them to understand the terms in both languages, delivering translated documents to a high standard.

Without this proficiency in both languages, the translator will likely struggle with terminology and accuracy. This would lead to mistranslations, and as mentioned above, that could have serious implications for you and your invention.

  1.   Industry knowledge, experience and expertise

Language proficiency alone is not enough when working with patents. Industry knowledge and technical experience are also of the utmost importance when translating subject-specific texts. This knowledge will allow the translator to deliver translations that comply with regulations and guidelines, guaranteeing the same legal protection as the source texts.

Only someone with extensive expertise in your industry can deliver a translation that will protect your industrial or intellectual property.

How can you overcome these challenges and get the best translation?

The best way to either avoid or overcome these challenges is by carefully choosing the translation agency that will handle your project. Patent documents are often subject to strict deadlines, but take care when considering agencies that offer cheap services with a fast turnaround. This usually leads to compromises on quality.

Instead, look for a translation agency that works with specialist translators who are native speakers of your target language. They will be able to deliver translated documents of the highest quality and accuracy, with the experience needed for a fast delivery.

Also make sure to ask about your chosen agency’s translation processes. Glossaries and translation memories are great tools for maintaining consistency throughout the documents, ensuring that there are no discrepancies between the translated texts.

Patents are composed of many different types of documents, including contracts, claims, financial documents, illustrations and sketches. As such, they require a specialist approach in order to achieve an accurate translation. This quality is essential, as otherwise a poor translation could lead to a denied patent registration or financial and legal consequences.

The right agency for your patent translation

From patent applications and research to for legal claims, finding the right translation agency will have a big impact on the success of your project. At Intertranslations, we have 25 years of experience and a proven track record of successfully overcoming the challenges faced in patent translation. 

We do this by working with native speakers from a wide network of subject matter specialists and industry experts. With an in-house Desktop Publishing Department, we can  also handle a range of editable and non-editable documents, including illustrations and graphs containing text. 

ISO certified for accuracy and quality, our processes will ensure you receive the best translation possible while respecting your deadlines with timely deliveries. We also know that security is essential for protecting your data and information. Our company is fully cyber essentials and GDPR compliant, and we offer non-disclosure agreements signed by both our in-house and freelance teams. 

Depending on your translation needs, target audience and the authorities, we can offer certified, sworn and notarised translations.

Translating patents is a complicated task, but by using experts in legal translation, you can help protect your intellectual property.

Why is patent translation essential for businesses?

Patents are important for the international success of many companies and organisations. They are strategic tools for innovation, give investors confidence in your business, and facilitate growth. For many companies, obtaining patents is a way to maintain a technological lead and remain competitive, proving to be a considerable financial asset. 

In order to protect your invention and prevent anyone from using it without your consent, you must file a patent application. If your invention, product or process meets certain requirements regarding novelty and utility, then a patent will be granted. This will give you the legal rights to your invention, offering protection in the country where the application was made.

This protection lasts for 20 years from the filing date, and without it, you will not have ownership or control over your invention. This means that without these exclusive rights, you cannot sell or license your intellectual property. A patent also helps prevent anyone from copying, making, selling or importing your invention without your permission.

Since patents are only valid for the individual country where the application was made, you will need to file multiple applications if you want protection in different countries. These applications will each need to be made in the official language of the local authorities.

The importance of quality in patent translations 

Any errors in the translation of your original patent documents could have serious financial and legal consequences. The protection provided could be different to what you intended, or void altogether. This lack of professionalism could also have a negative impact on your company’s image, damaging your reputation. 

You can make sure that any official documents retain their accuracy and integrity by obtaining a sworn translation. These are delivered by translators who have been authorised by the local authorities, and as such, they are treated just like any other official document. This is the best way to make sure your translation complies with the legal requirements of your target market, giving you the protection that you need.

Translation also plays a vital role in actually obtaining your patents. If you want a European patent, then your documents must be submitted in one of the official languages of the European Patent Office (EPO). In other words, they will need translating into either French, German or English.

For an international patent application, you will also need to provide documents in each official language of the countries where you want to apply. If you want to apply in 10 countries which each have different official languages, then you will need 10 translations of your patent documents.

Regardless of how many languages you need to translate your patent documents into, it is essential that you use sworn legal translators. These professionals will have the skills and legal experience needed to translate your documents accurately. 

Where there are multiple languages involved, it would also be beneficial to go through a translation agency. Using specialist translation tools and software, they will be able ensure consistency not just across documents, but also across languages for full legal protection. 

Once your patents have been registered, there might be other times when you need professional translation services. While patents give you legal rights, they also place your invention in the public domain for all to see. Some people may attempt to copy or use this information without your permission. In these situations, legal translation services are essential for defending your property.

The complex challenges of patent translation

Translation is often forgotten when it comes to patents, and yet it is one of the most important aspects for protecting your intellectual property. It is also one of the most complex, with patent translators facing numerous challenges.

The most obvious of these challenges is the specialist terminology involved. Patents not only include documents relating to your specific industry, but also a range of financial, legal and other specialist documents. Expert knowledge of these different sectors will allow your translator to make sure they use the most accurate terms possible, delivering a quality translation. 

Another common challenge lies in the way that legal systems differ from country to county, and even region to region. These differences mean it is essential that your translator understands the specific legal processes that apply within your target country.

This can affect the content and language used in documents, as well as the actual physical format of the patent. Armed with this local knowledge, your translator can make sure your translation fulfils all the necessary legalities, preserving the integrity of the original documents.

Calling on professionals will help ensure your patent documents are valid and fulfil the local requirements of each country. They will also be able to ensure the accuracy of your translation, avoiding errors which could void your patent’s protection. 

As such, using a professional and trustworthy translation company with experience in patent translation will help protect your business and its innovations. Whether the translation is for an application, research or litigation, they have the resources needed for accurate, timely translations with the best chances of success.

A patent translation agency you can trust

Internationalisation is becoming increasingly important for businesses, and patent translations offer multiple benefits in this respect. These range from protecting your company’s inventions and reputation, to unlocking prior art for your own research. Whatever your needs, patent translation can give your company a competitive edge and help you stay one step ahead of the global market.

At Intertranslations, we have over 20 years of service in legal translation. Familiar with both European and international regulations and laws, we have more than 150 clients and work in over 350 language pairs.

Cyber essentials and GDPR compliant, both our in-house and freelance teams also sign strict non-disclosure agreements for your total security. Meanwhile, our professional translation software not only ensures accuracy and consistency across all documents, but also means we can offer you the best price.

When it comes to protecting your intellectual property, we understand the importance of translation. Whether you have a patent that you would like to translate or need legal help with infringement, our team are happy to help. Get in touch for your free quote today.

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