The urge to opt for a low-cost translation provider is quite common among a patent attorney, paralegal, patent agent, researcher in an IP services firm or an inventor. Patent translation is an expensive process as it carries much significance. A translation can account for more than 50% of the cost of PCT National Stage Filings and EPC validations. Thus anyone would opt for an affordable translation provider to avoid poor patent translation. Regarding translation service, the quality and cost goes hand in hand. Thus, whenever there is a drop in translator fee there might be a drop in quality too.
Patents are techno-legal documents that use very extremely precise, technical language to describe the usage and features of an invention. Therefore, in order to get an accurate translation it is necessary to take the help of translator who excels in the apt technical background. It will be impertinent to engage a translator from the biological domain to work for mechanical domain.
The most important part of any patent is the Claims section where the original language needs to be translated in such a way that the original technical and legal aspect is reflected unambiguously in the translated patent. It will therefore be wise to take help of native translators of particular country to maintain the exactness of translated text and strict adherence to accurate terminology.
Any error in a patent translation can never be compromised. However, sometimes there can be minor errors made by efficient translators. In order to maintain the quality of translation it must be proofread by another skilled translator. This bears much more importance when the technical patent translation is subjected to anything that would be used in a patent infringement case.
All the above criterions make poor patent translation cost hefty. To lower down the cost of this translation procedure help of machine or translators having mother tongue other than the required language to be translated are considered. Such a translator may have very small or no technical knowledge of the matter concerned and working in an atmosphere where quality of the work delivered is not constantly monitored. He may remain unaware of the requirements of patent offices worldwide.
The Intellectual Property domain requires high quality, error-free translations as they are mostly used for research and development purpose and for filing patent application in foreign countries. Even a small error in translation in this case will cost huge.
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Let us have a look at how a poor patent translation can affect the following areas:
Research and Development
A regular and proper tracking of competitor activity or gathering information from published patents is vital when it comes to research and development, IP portfolio maintenance & monitoring, or the support of patent licensing & commercialization activities. Keeping in mind the budget constraint, companies sometime take the help of free translator tools. This results in missing of important details and can finally lead to business possibility to go off hand. Herein, lays the credibility and credit of an efficient translator.
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Patent Prosecution / Filing
This particular thing involves translation of prior art for domestic filings and translating patent applications for overseas filing in order to protect the IP of a company. Patent filing costs differ according to the countries in which they are being filed which in turn means hiring local patent attorneys from different countries. This means an overall increase in cost incurred for translation purpose.
In the above scenario, it is better to take help of specialist translation service provider which would ultimately save translation cost besides providing maximum protection against patent translation risks. A translation provider would be able to minimize the cost, yet execute work accurately with the help of efficient translators in required languages.
How to get the distinctive balance?
Whether a translation is for an information purpose, for research and development, or for a patent prosecution purpose, it should be understood that it is a human art. Thus a translation done by a human and that of a machine bears significant difference. Due to this reason working with a reputed translation service providing company would help the clients get the best form of work possible. This would finally help achieve a long-term trusted relationship of the client with the service provider. Moreover, the value of a patent translation cannot be ascertained by mere monetary units. A poor patent translation can prove fatal leading to serious legal and financial outcomes.
Any company, be it a start-up or a large scale will try to keep such IP related risks at bay. Thus, working with a trusted patent translation service provider would be welcomed at any time over a short-term monetary saving.