Check out the patent translation process and its main challenges
Does your company thrive on innovation? Perhaps you are an inventor who came up with an innovative solution and want to patent your achievement?
You will need a competent language service provider to assist you in the patenting process, in order to ensure that your innovation and intellectual property are protected from theft or unauthorized international use.
To guarantee exclusive rights for exploration, application, production and distribution, you will need to submit a patent application, either in Brazil or in other countries.
Having a specialized translation services company should be your first point of contact for patent translation. Our language experts are qualified and have the necessary knowledge to translate your patents into any language.
Do you have an invention, technological innovation or unique solution to a specific problem? Now is the time to act – learn more about this type of service and see some of its main challenges.
What are patents and what is their economic significance?
Process engineering, products and trademarks innovations are generally protected for a period of 20 years in Brazil, Europe and the USA. On the other hand, the normal protection period for utility models is a maximum of three to fifteen years.
During this protection period, only the patent holder may use the invention in order to generate sales and profit, that is, the patent holder has a monopoly. Others competitors are at a disadvantage.
Patents are industrial property rights for inventions and innovations, in addition to having great economic importance. They can even determine a company’s success or failure in the domestic or global markets.
This applies, in particular, to industries focused on innovation and technology. And includes the following specialized sectors and departments:
Energy and energy technology
Electrical and electronics industry
IT / software
Renewable energies and environmental technology
Patents are not only important assets for financial success, but they are also used to assess the innovative capacity of a multinational company, in addition to contributing to the value of its property.
The main challenges of translating patents
Let’s see why patent translation is so challenging and how patent owners can protect their work in international settings.
1 – Terminology
Many experts consider technology one of the main challenges when it comes to translating patents. This is because, in this field, interpretations or substitutions of terms are rarely acceptable.
When translating this type of technical terminology, linguists need to find the corresponding term precisely to define each element described in the patent.
In this narrow niche, translators work with specific words and phrases and must know how to combine them so as not to alter anything in the meaning of the document.
To overcome terminology challenges, specialized translators must have language proficiency in both languages. At the same time, they must know the subject from inside out and find the exact and necessary terms to maintain the patent’s accuracy.
2 – Drawings and sketches
Another reason why patents are a challenge for translators is the number of visual elements that need to be reproduced and translated in the document.
Think of drawings, for example. All notes included in an image must correspond to the source and target languages to ensure that nothing is lost in the translation.
These notes may include measurements, acronyms and symbols that show the exact characteristics of the invention. Translators must make sure they know the meaning of each note and its exact equivalent in the target language.
If there are none, as is often the case in this niche, the linguist must find the most appropriate term to replace the note in a way that does not change the meaning of the document.
3 – Language and cultural differences
Patent translation seems like an exact science, but unfortunately, there is no such thing in the language services industry.
No two languages are sufficiently similar to allow for a 100% word-by-word translation, maintaining the exact meaning of a document, whether it is legal or technical, for example.
Languages are complex and, therefore, translators are forced to adapt to different ways that people have to express concepts. To this challenge, add the fact that each language comes with specific syntax and grammar rules, which can also influence the content of the patent.
4 – Different patent regulations
Another common challenge of patent translation is the legal aspect of the work. As with all legal translations, patents require that both legal systems of the country of origin and the country of destination find common ground.
In the end, the patent must be valid under both legal systems. To some extent, patented translation can be defined as localization, as linguists often need to adapt the document to meet local standards and regulations.
In other words, patent translators must be familiar with the laws of both countries involved to ensure the validity of the translated document.
The incorrect translation of patents can happen in any language
Even the best translators can make translation mistakes when working with patents, regardless of the target language. That’s because patent translation is one of the most challenging and complicated niches in the language market.
Incorrect translations can occur with Asian languages, such as Chinese or Japanese, for example, but they are also common when translating into Portuguese or other languages.
That is why patent owners must work with professional language service providers, who follow strict protocols to ensure that all documentation is translated and proofread by experts in the field before sending it to any authority.
If you need a patent translation service, please contact Fidelity Translations to meet all your needs. Contact us.