Patent protection is limited by national or regional borders. This means you must file for a new patent or validate your patent in each individual country or region where you wish to protect your invention. Most national patent offices require your application to be submitted in the official national language, or if it’s a regional office like the EPO, then you will have a choice of local languages (e.g. English, French or German). Translating your patent application into the relevant language – and doing it well – is a crucial part of getting a patent issued.
The wording of your claims
The exact wording of your patent – especially the patent’s claims – defines what the patent does and the scope of what you want the national government to protect if it agrees to approve your patent application and issue your patent. The patent claims are what the patent courts will need to review if a patent infringement case arises. Therefore, each national patent office spends a good deal of time examining the wording of each claim during the patent process before agreeing to issue and protect it.
The examination process is the critical stage of patent prosecution. If a problem is discovered during prosecution, the patent examiner can issue a rejection with an explanation of the claims that are not allowable. As Gene Quinn of IP Watchdog explains, “Inventions are not rejected. What is rejected is the articulation of the invention as it appears in the claims. It is perfectly possible for a patentable invention to be described in the patent application, but for the claims to be too broad or otherwise have some kind of infirmity that would lead to a rejection.”
Quinn continues by highlighting an extremely important point: “A rejection is not the end of the [prosecution] process, but the starting point of a discussion with the examiner about what he or she will require the claim language to specifically say in order for the claim to be allowable.”
If you are filing your patent overseas in a non-English speaking country, you will need to translate that patent into the official languages(s) of the relevant countries.
Patent translation can represent up to 50% of the total costs associated with prosecution. If you want to reduce the steep translation costs associated with national phase filing and EP validation, a patent translation service provider can offer useful tools to increase efficiency and lower costs while ensuring quality.
The patent translation company advantage
By using a patent translation service to translate your patent application abroad, you will have access to:
- Subject matter experts (SME) – A patent is a legal document, containing highly technical language and references. Given the importance of terminology in the patent translation process, a professional patent services company will match your patent with a specialized SME translator who is well-versed in the technical field related to the invention.
- Specialized tools – Language service providers have access to translation tools that improve efficiency, lower costs and ensure error-free deliverables. For example, translation memory and glossary tools can be used to identify repetitive text – cutting time and costs during the patent translation process.
- A central point of contact – By centralizing the patent translation process, you will ensure effective communication, coordination and quality assurance through every step of the patent translation process.
Start with high quality patent translations
The risks and financial ramifications of submitting low quality translations during international patent filing cancel out any savings derived from using a low-cost provider. Getting the patent properly translated right from the start is worth the cost – and is likely to save you money in the long run.