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What to Look for in a Patent Litigation Translation Partner

Apr 27, 2022

Patent translation is an exciting discipline that is often highly technical. Selecting the right patent litigation translation partner can make the difference between an on-time, on-budget delivery or a logistical nightmare that drains your company’s budget and exposes you to undue risk.

Inaccurate patent or IP translation can have serious consequences, including missed filing deadlines, lack of protection, or jeopardizing the very existence of businesses built around intellectual property. For these reasons, IP translation is a detailed and complex process requiring time and financial resources.

Here are our recommendations on what to look for in a patent litigation translation partner to ensure you get started with the correct language services provider (LSP) and help save you time and money:

1. Specialized Translators

The patent litigation translation partner you work with should be able to pre-determine appropriate translators for your case from their vast network. Giving your LSP a head-start on your project requests can help with ensuring that these individuals will be available when your project is ready to launch.

For translation of technical documents, it’s not enough to find a translator who speaks a specific language – you must select a patent translation service provider who can demonstrate experience successfully managing IP translation projects in your field. If the LSP doesn’t already specialize in your industry, finding a subject matter expert with the appropriate background may cost more, which is a charge the translation company will pass along to you.

Suppose a subject matter expert can’t be found for your project in time. In that case, another experienced translator may accept the project but will likely need to dedicate more time to reviewing reference materials, further increasing the project’s expense. Translator placement is critical and should be chosen carefully to ensure these major roadblocks don’t set you back, necessitating reliable, responsive, and cost-effective language partners, such as Morningside

2. Rigorous Vetting & Quality

Ask the LSP to outline their translator vetting and selection process,  which helps you ensure the translators stay current with industry standards. FremainTranslators should be tested regularly and have a proven track record in your field.

Each language organization or translation provider, whether that be your contractor or a professional language services company, will have differing quality control methods. Because of the various quality control methods, it may become difficult to determine what standards they are being held to. With your litigation at risk, at this point, it would behoove you to be able to clearly identify what quality control (QC) processes are being followed.

Professional language services companies, such as Morningside, can hold themselves to a third party’s standards, which requires a rigorous QC process to be maintained. Morningside holds ISO 17100 certification, denoting rigorous quality standards for translation companies. Understanding your partner’s quality control process also lets you know the time they will require to deliver accurate translations.

Intellectual property documents contain valuable secrets that can have disastrous consequences for your company if exposed. Your translation partner must maintain exacting standards for file transfer, data protection, file tracking, client access portals, and more, especially when staff members are working from home. By maintaining ISO 27001 certification, Morningsideshows our clients that their IP remains protected at every stage.

3. Rush Deadline Capacity

Time is of the essence for the majority of legal matters. When determining the right LSP for your needs, ensure they can expedite most requests and accommodate even the tightest deadlines. It’s essential your LSP can do both, expediting and maintaining high-quality standards.

With a 98% on-time delivery rate, Morningside has a proven track record of delivering accurate translations that successfully meet our clients’ deadlines.

4. Advanced Technology

Patent documents should leave very little room for interpretation. Word choices add significance to ensure your IP is protected against challengers. Translation memory tools, glossaries, and termbases establish consistency among critical phrases from the start of the project. These tools can also help you save money by reducing the number of words ultimately requiring translation.

Because there are many instances of specific terms and phrases in patent applications and supporting materials, we can streamline the translation process by using language assets like translation memory (TM) and termbases.

TM: In its simplest form, translation memory is a technology tool that identifies all the instances of certain words or phrases that have been previously translated and then translates them consistently across documents. Using TM decreases the overall number of terms requiring translation, which reduces your overall costs.

Termbases: During onboarding, you can work with your LSP to define specific terms that need to be translated precisely to your specifications. Once the list is complete, it will go into a termbase, ensuring these phrases are consistently translated across all your future projects.

5. Related Language Services

An expert patent litigation language provider should provide not only translation services – but also foreign language document review and interpretation services, as well. Translating all foreign language documents in connection with patent litigation may be cost- and time prohibitive. It’s essential to work with a translation agency to help you reduce the universe of documents and quickly and efficiently identify the most valuable documents for your case.

When it comes time for depositions or hearings, you should be able to rely on the same agency to supply interpreters – remotely or onsite – to facilitate communication with foreign-language speakers.


IP Translation may seem like a formality, but it is a crucial step of the litigation process. Your company has invested years into developing its valuable intellectual property. Don’t compromise that investment by rushing or skimping on the translation process. Doing so could cost your organization dearly.

In addition to our patent prosecution services, Morningside specializes in patent litigation translation. We have 20+ years of experience supporting the most critical and technical patent litigations involving over 200 languages and various subject matters.

About Us

Morningside, a Questel Company, equips the world’s leading organizations with a full suite of end-to-end intellectual property and language solutions. With over 4,000 clients in 55 countries, Morningside is globally recognized for its subject matter expertise and technology innovation in regulated markets such as IP, legal services, life sciences, and corporate compliance. Our IP management solutions and translation services ensure your ideas reach new markets and audiences seamlessly while allowing you to do more with your budget. Global 500 companies, international law firms, and regulatory bodies rely on Morningside as a trusted partner to make intelligent choices for their most valuable assets.

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