Patent Translation Risks: What & How to Avoid?

According to the literal meaning of the word Patent translation, it means to translate anything related to a Patent into another desired/relevant language. However, on legal aspects, Patent Translation is demanded when patent written in current language needs to be translated into another language without changing the meaning of the contents of it. While conversion, everything that is written in the textual form in one language, has to be converted in accordance with the current linguistic requirements to avoid patent translation risks. Documentation can be of any sort of patent claims, drawings, description, or legal files.

Translation services majorly include translations for filing, litigation (accurate translations to undertake legal action with confidence), and technical insights (competitive intelligence, R&D, and business development teams critical IP data).

Patent Translation Risks

A translation must be done in a way that the anticipated meaning of translated words remains same. But it’s not easy to translate the whole document, maintaining its authenticity and bring the same influence of words through some other language.

Let’s understand the most-common risks involved in translation, in the following section:

  • Misinterpretation of patent’s meaning and scope:

    Language difference is one of the major risks to be tackled while translating legal documents. Some languages have jargons (special technical words that explain the term precisely) that enhance our understanding towards its severity. But there may also be cases when those jargons are not found in the translating language. This may seem a minor issue on the outer aspect, but the difference in wording can change the meaning and influence of even a single word. This could lead to wrong interpretation of the complete sense of the patent application.

  • Identification of multiple meanings:

    Another consequence of using the wrong word is to interpret more than one meaning from the same sentence. This issue of ambiguity must not be ignored since it can cause confusion for the readers about the significant meaning of the text. Doubts could lead to wrong interpretation and misunderstanding about the patent’s purpose.

  • Incorrectness in patent’s applicability:

    In legal matters, every translated sentence must bear the same significance as the original sentence. Translation mistakes must be avoided since sometimes they can change the literal meaning of the invention (basically, the claims), making it invalid or meaningless. Languages are so diverse that it is very difficult to translate everything word-to-word. Thus, leading to wrong interpretation and misunderstanding about the invention.

  • Maximize probability of infringement:

    Wrong use of words may also create new black-holes attracting infringement. There may be a possibility that translating words to another language might infringe the existing patents written in the translated language. Infringement once caught will cause the application to get abandoned if any opposition is filed.

Measures to prevent Patent Translation Risks

Let’s now understand the ways to maintain the authenticity of your translated document or ways to successfully win your patent’s grant, despite facing risks.

  • Hire professionals: For the purpose of correct translation of an important document, such as Patent application, a patent translator who understands both the languages completely, along with the patent laws must be hired. He must also know the technique to use the correct word at the correct place to bring the correct interpretation of the invention. Not only this, he must write the sentences after analyzing its meaning from the perspective of a normal person having the domain-specific knowledge, the inventor’s ideology, and the patent examiner for his/her expectations from the application. [Read more on the qualities an efficient patent translator should have]

It’s better to look for a good and renowned translation agency that holds specialization in patent translation. Also, there is also a provision of assigning more than one person in the translation work. Through this, the second can check/ re-check for the correctness of first translator’s work. There are firms that provide a number of quality assurance processes, from no-review to spot-checking, to three-person verification.

  • Think before you invest: Applicants/inventors sometimes try to save their pocket by investing at business-promising firms that offer great discounts but doesn’t seem or provide reliable and quality-assured translation services. One must give utter care to avoid as many mistakes as possible so that saving money would not become a nightmare.
  • Ask for Certified Translator: Certification is the most important part when inventor needs to submit the translation to a court or government agency. There are different cases when where a certification is not required by law. Even in such cases, it’s a good practice to ask for certification of translation. This will ensure that the translation will be precise, correct, unambiguous, and reliable. A certification is a statement of the translator’s good faith belief that the translation is true to the original, not a guarantee of accuracy.
  • Take help from professional proofreader: Making the translated application does not mark the completion of the translation story. Proofreading when done by another professional translator will ensure that the document is optimized in terms of its quality and correctness.
  • Read before you sign: The applicant/inventor must make sure the quality and reliability of the patent application before signing or committing to the applicability of his/her translated patent application. Help can also be taken from another experienced patent translator if you are not familiar with the translated language.

 What do we do?

Patent translation is always a challenge because everything depends upon the translator proficiency and style of presentation of the translation. The level of formality may vary but the meaning must remain consistent.

We at the Patent Translations Express, offer high-quality patent translations for IP law firms in many countries across the globe. Our patent translators hold Masters and PhDs, in various disciplines of Science and Technology, with a deep understanding of patent literature. Our expertise in country-specific regulations and a large pool of highly qualified patent translators sets us apart from other translation companies. To know more about our services, visit us or drop a mail at

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