Patent Translations
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Articles for Translators and Translation Companies
Patent Translations

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Translating a Patent: Translator's Templates (Part II: The Specification)
For those who are unfamiliar with patents, I would like to point out that the strategy of discussing the patent document from the viewpoint of the cover and then the specification was chosen strictly for the purpose of dividing the umbrella topic - patent translation - into manageable portions. It should not be interpreted to mean that the cover page is a separate and unrelated entity that is followed sequentially by the next self-contained module - the specification…
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Translating a Patent: Translator's Templates (Part I: The Cover Page)
The object of the following article is to provide English templates of the cover page of German patents with explanatory text of the purpose of each section. The historical approach that I have applied is intended to highlight step by step two aspects: 1) the amount of information that has been added over time, and 2) the importance of this information for the translator, who possesses the skill and knowledge to take advantage of common data available to everyone…
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Supply and Demand Analysis of Patent Translation
As the internet shortens the intellectual distance between countries, worldwide patent information becomes easily accessible. In order to protect novel inventions, it is important to file a patent in patent offices and distribute patent information online. Since patents are granted for innovations, patents reflect economic growth of a country by illustrating creative activities and displaying the knowledge power of that particular country or region…
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The Pace of Progress: The Changing Patent Landscape
The U.S. patent system is broken, says a growing chorus of critics, and the past year has seen significant attempts to fix it in all three branches of the U.S. government. Although it is impossible to predict exactly how these efforts will play out, current trends toward reform could have profound effects on patent practice—and patent translators…
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Patent Translation Errors for Filing in China
We all know how important a proper patent translation is when filing in a foreign country. A bad translation of patent claims and specifications may make a patent invalid or unenforceable. When dealing with Romance languages, the lexicology and grammar can be similar enough to get a word for word technical translation with occasional sentence restructuring
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Linguistic Problems with Translation of Japanese Patents to English
Thousands of examined and unexamined patent applications, utility models and granted patents are translated every year from Japanese to English in United States, Japan, Great Britain and other countries. The quality of these translations is sometime excellent, and sometime not very good. It is not difficult to find samples of bad translations from Japanese. For example, the Japan Patent Office provides English summaries of all published unexamined (Kokai) patent applications in English
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Online dictionary resources for patent, technical and medical translation from Japanese, German and French to English. Part 2
A hundred years ago or so, there was basically only one way to learn a trade. If you wanted to become, say, a bookbinder or a violin maker in a European country such as Italy or Germany, you had to become an apprentice in the workshop of an established master, which meant that you basically had to work for room and board for a number of years for a stern and stingy master bookbinder or violin maker
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Musings of a Japanese Translator in New York
Minoru Mochizuki presents a personal account of what it’s like to be a Japanese translator making a living in the United States. He then explains why he is grateful to Japanese inventors and TRADOS …
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Online dictionary resources for patent, technical and medical translation from Japanese, German and French to English. Part 1
I have always been intrigued by the very idea of a dictionary. Or at least since a very young age, I think I must have had an instinctive understanding of the value of a good dictionary. When I was 15 (1967), I found in the attic an unexpected treasure: an old Latin-Greek-German-Czech dictionary, published around 1920
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Useful Machine Translations of Japanese Patents Have Become a Reality
The article continues the previous (Reflections of a Human Translator on Machine Translation) publication on the usefullness of Machine Translations…
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The Changing World of Japanese Patent Translators
Some 15 years ago when I lived in San Francisco, a translation agency in downtown called and asked whether I could come to their office to have a look at a patent. It had been faxed to them by a law firm but they were not sure whether it was legible enough for translating because, like most translation agencies, they could not read Japanese. So I took the bus downtown and then an elevator to the agency's office on Market Street to have a look at what appeared to be a third generation fax. It was hopeless…
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Reflections of a Human Translator on Machine Translation or Will MT Become the "Deus Ex Machina" Rendering Humans Obsolete in an Age When "Deus Est Machina?"
Every now and then Federal Express delivers a thick envelope to my home office with at least a dozen Japanese patents and a cover letter from a patent lawyer asking me to provide a price quote for translating the whole package. After the initial rush that comes from seeing big dollar signs when I am done counting the pages and multiplying them by my estimate for the number of words to arrive at the dollar figure, I try to calm down as I prepare a fax to the lawyer. More often than not, the price is too high and the lawyer has to find a way to argue the technological aspects of a patent case without knowing all the details of what is in all those patents…
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