Patent Translations Types: A Complete Guide

Despite a downturn in the global economy, reports suggest that there has been a sharp surge in the number of patents filed worldwide. With China leading the graph and followed by countries like the United States, Japan, Korea, and the European Union, it is very evident that the need of accurate patent translation service is going to increase manifold in future. Unlike other kinds of translations, translating patent documents is completely different, because here you don’t have much liberty to imagine things. In other words, we can say that in this realm, a translation has to be literal, precise, and accurate.

Even though patent documents are technical and legal documents, we can further categorize them depending upon the nature of the document in question and hence, there exist various types of patent translations. For an efficient corporate decision, it is important for applicants to know these various kinds that they may encounter in the future course of time. This article is intended to list various kinds of patent translations that are prevalent in this domain.

Patent Translations Types

Patent translations for prior art documents:

Prior-art is an evidence that your invention is already known. A prior art does not need to exist physically or be commercially available. It is enough that someone, somewhere, some time previously has described or shown or made something that contains a use of technology that is very similar to your invention. During an examination, applicants may have to refute prior art cited by an examiner to establish its novelty.

Translations of such documents fall under this category and are important when you intend to protect a patent in a country, where the official language is other than the one you have filed your previous application with. Translating such documents doesn’t always require a certified patent translator as long as the translator has a general understanding of the patent in question things can be done.

Though translating such documents comparatively requires a less degree of precision and accuracy, still, it is important that the content, meaning, and nature of the translated document remain intact.

Patent translations for litigation proceedings:

During patent litigation proceedings, defendants often require to cite other patents to invalidate the patent they are allegedly infringing. If such patent documents exist in a foreign language it becomes important for the party to translate it in their desired language, so that, they can have a full understanding of the technicalities of the invention and the entire history of how a patent was obtained.

Translating such patents require a higher degree of precision and accuracy compared to the previous one and require a certification as it is mandatory as per patent regulatory norms. Thus, while an applicant is intending to a hire a patent translation service provider, this requirement should be kept in mind. Patent Translations Types

Patent translations for foreign filings:

When you are dealing with documents that are meant for foreign filing, the act of translating such documents is called as patent translations for foreign filings. These are one among the patent documents that require the highest degree of precision and accuracy.

A minuscule error can make or break your desired goals and thus it has to be done only by those who are professionals and working in this domain for years. A patent attorney or a patent research firm could be worth considering in such a situation. While doing translations for foreign filings, it is important to ensure that the translator is an expert and has wide experience in doing translations for patent documents.

Putting it simply, a patent is a technical and legal document and its translation has to be treated with utmost attention and care. One of the most effective ways of ensuring this is by understanding various types of patent documents and translating it accordingly.

Why PTE? 

Our team at The Patent Translations Express provide the best-in-class quality of translations at an affordable price. We follow our motto: ✓ Lowest Prices OR We Match ✓ Exclusive Patent Translators ✓ Best Quality OR Do Not Pay

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Frequently Asked Questions


Getting Started

What do I need to order a translation package ?

To purchase a translation package, all you need is a valid credit card or a PayPal account. You can also ask for custom price quote and further pay with multiple options. You need to either sign in “My Account” or create and activate a new account when checking out.


Creating My Account

How do I register at PTE ?

You will be asked to share your details (your full name, business email, phone number, etc.) before making the first purchase. You also have the option of directly registering at “My Account” page where you need to submit your business email. Once you click on that Register button, you will receive your account details on registered email. Further, you can edit your password and account details.


About Our Services

What payment methods do you accept?

We prefer to accept payments via Pay Pal. However, if you are not comfortable with it, we can also accept wire transfers.

Can I change or cancel my order?

Changes or cancellations to an already placed order can be done in two ways:

  1. By sending an email to the account manager assigned to you for this delivery (the details will be in your order confirmation email).
  2. By calling our customer services helpline at +1 (214) 269 0626.

While we will make every attempt to change your order, additional charges may apply if work on the request has begun or if the scope changes significantly. Therefore, please make changes as soon as you can.

What about iterations/corrections?

Any corrections needed due to our error will be done at no charge. Small revisions will be done at no charge. Changes to the scope of the project and additional translations will be charged at our normal rate.

How does Patent Translations Express (PTE) ensure translation quality?

We know Patent translation is all about quality and thus Patent Translations Express have put in place various mechanism to ensure clients get only quality work. The process of quality checks start right at the time of recruitment wherein we employ only those patent translators/editors who hold technical degrees such as PhD or other relevant higher degrees with an understanding of patent literature. The translators we work with have been selected based on their technical expertise, meticulous translation ability and outstanding client servicing capability.

Apart from this we have a long experience of translating patent related documents into and from 40+ different languages. No matter whether it is a patent application, a prior art, an office action document and/or patent litigation document, our team is equipped enough to deliver the desired result.

How long does a translation take to complete?

The rate at which translation is done depend on various associated factors like context, complexity and layout of the text; still on an average a translator completes 1500-3000 words per day.

In what format, files should be given for translation?

We prefer documents those are provided in electronic format like MS Word because it can reduce cost and delivery time both.

Can you guarantee my project will be kept confidential?

Yes, we take the full responsibility of confidentiality of your documents and thus we sign NDA with all our esteemed clients before taking up any such project. You can rest in peace that any information provided to us will never be disclosed to any third party, under any circumstances.

Apart from this all our translators and editors are bonded with Confidentiality Agreement that prevents them from disclosing any such confidential agreement to people other than those specified.


Can you provide any further insight into the use of manual translators versus CAT tools?

Regarding CAT tools vs manual translators, please note our observations below:

  1. When it comes to technical manuals, which are likely to have a number of terms repeated throughout, CAT tools may be very useful. However, when it comes to translating patents, where variation of meaning behind each word and sentence may be different in different patents, this technology is unsuitable and ineffective.
  2. Also, especially when quality of translation is to be done keeping specific jurisdictional laws in mind, CAT tools may not be as useful.

Hence, we believe to use CAT effectively, one must know both languages really well. Else, one will not be able to detect the shortcomings of the software and, won’t be able to produce unambiguous high-quality translations.


Delivering Your Report

What languages you covered ?

The translation can be delivered in any of the below mentioned Languages:

  • English
  • Chinese
  • Korean
  • Russian
  • Vietnamese
  • Japanese
  • German
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Dutch
  • Swedish
  • Finnish
  • Hebrew
  • Danish
  • Portuguese
  • Polish
  • Czech
  • Bulgarian
  • Hungarian
  • Norwegian
  • Urdu
  • Arabic

However, if you have some specific requirement or preferences, it will be delivered in that languages only.



I am still confused – What do I do?

No Problem! We are here to help you – e-mail us to discuss your requirements.

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