Patent Translation Risks: What & How to Avoid?

The literal meaning of the word Patent translation means to translate anything related to a Patent into another desired/relevant language. However, on legal aspects, Patent Translation works to translate a patent written in the current language into another. This proves to be a daunting task as the meaning of the contents should not change. Therefore, it associates many patent translation risks with it.

While patent filing, patent translation converts the whole textual form from one language to another. This requires to be in accordance with the current linguistic requirements. Documentation is in the form 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 for technical insights.

Most Common Patent Translation Risks

A perfect translation keeps the anticipated meaning of translated words constant. While translating maintaining documents authenticity and bringing the same influence through some other language is not an easy task.

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

  • Misinterpretation of patent’s meaning and scope: this is the first of several patent translation risks. This happens when a translator needs to tackle the risk of language difference while translating legal documents. Some languages have jargons (special technical words that explain the term precisely) that enhance our understanding of its severity. But, there may also be cases when you don’t find those jargons in the translating language. This may seem a minor issue on the outer aspect, but the difference in wording can change the meaning completely. This, in turn, leads to a wrong interpretation of the complete sense of the patent application.
  • Multiple meanings identification: a consequence of using the wrong word is to interpret more than one meaning from the same sentence. This creates ambiguity since it can cause confusion for the readers about the significant meaning of the text. Moreover, doubts 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 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. This, in turn, leads to a wrong interpretation of the invention.

Related Article: What is the Importance of Patent Proofreading?

  • Maximize the probability of infringement: wrong use of words may also create new black-holes attracting infringement. This proves to be one of the major patent translation risks as the infringing claims leads to straightaway abandonment of the patent application.

 Measures to prevent Patent Translation Risks

Patent translation risk poses major drawbacks for a patent application. One needs to be very careful while translating the detailed patent document to another language. So, let’s now understand the ways to maintain the authenticity of your translated document to win the patent grant, despite facing risks.

  • Hire professionals: for the correct translation of a patent document, a patent translator must understand both the languages completely. 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.

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 the 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.

Related Article: Why should you hire a good patent illustrator?

  • Think before you invest: Applicants/inventors sometimes try to save their pocket by investing at business-promising firms that offer great discounts. But this becomes one of the major patent translation risks as they don’t provide the reliable and quality-assured translation. One must care to avoid as many mistakes as possible so that saving money would not become a nightmare.
  • Certified Translator: Certification becomes important when the inventor needs to submit the translation to a court or government agency. There are different cases when where the law doesn’t require the certification. Even in such cases, it’s a good practice to ask for certification of translation. This will ensure that the translation is 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. The USPTO and other patent offices prefer reports from certified translators. The work of a certified translator helps avoid patent translation risks as they are well knowledgeable professionals.
  • The aid of professional proofreader: making the translated application does not mark the completion of the translation story. Proofreading when done by another professional translator will ensure the integrity of the translated document.
  • Read before you sign: The applicant/inventor must make sure the quality and reliability of the patent application. Therefore, before signing the applicability of his/her translated patent application the translator must thoroughly go through the translated script. You can also take help from another experienced patent translator if you are not familiar with the translated language.

  What do we bring?

Patent translation is always a challenge because everything depends upon the translator’s proficiency and style of presentation of the translation. Only a professional can avoid patent translation risks and mistakes and will prepare a reliable draft.  The level of formality may vary but the meaning remains consistent.

We at the Patent Translations Express, offer high-quality patent translations for IP law firms in many countries across the globe. Also, our PCT Nationalization and Multi-Country Filing services are well-renowned. Our patent translators hold Masters and PhDs, in disciplines of Science and Technology, with a deep understanding of patent literature. Our expertise in country-specific regulations and a pool of highly qualified patent translators sets us apart from other translation companies. Do give a visit to our service page to know more.

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