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IP Translation Services – Not Just for Patents

Mar 21, 2014

Translating intellectual property documents means translating more than just patents. IP translation services can include translating trademarks, examination reports, and technical documents related to patent litigation.

According to WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), intellectual property (IP) “refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.” It is usually divided into two categories: industrial property, which includes patents, trademarks, and industrial designs; and copyrights, which cover film, music, art, and literary works such as novels and plays. IP translation includes translating the legal and technical documents required to obtain or protect intellectual property rights related to these inventions or creations.

Intellectual property rights are similar to other property rights. They allow their creator or owner to benefit from their interest and authorship. Just as an investor or entrepreneur has legal protections that allow him to profit from his efforts, IP rights help ensure that artists, scientists, and investors are fairly compensated for the often hefty investment of time and resources needed to create new ideas and processes that help save lives, generate new jobs, and improve quality of life. And IP translation services help ensure that those rights are protected overseas as well.

Obtaining legal protection for a trademark or patent in a foreign country requires translating the IP document into one of the official languages of that country. For example, an American patent owner who wants to obtain patent protection in Japan must submit a Japanese translation of the patent to the Japanese Patent Office (JPO). Registering a trademark also requires IP translation services like translating a list of the products to which the sign would apply and other documentation into the official languages of the relevant countries.

For those seeking legal protection on the global market for their intellectual property, IP translation services are a requirement. And it’s critical to get them done right. Intellectual property translation is highly technical and even small translation errors could render a patent or trademark unenforceable. Even an experienced translator fluent in the source and target languages might not have the necessary expertise to perform a highly accurate translation. It takes a skilled IP translator who is an expert in the field of the invention, understands the terminology and nuances, and is familiar with the country-specific IP regulations. Because if you have already invested considerable time and resources into creating “the next big thing,” compromising on high quality IP translation services is simply not an option.

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