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Managing the risk of patent translation

Managing the risk of patent translationFor device and drug companies, translation is an integral part of filing, enforcing, and litigating intellectual property (IP). And the stakes are high - translations can cause significant problems with overseas filings, leave domestic patents open to challenge, and undermine litigation strategies. Despite this, few IP groups have policies in place to mitigate translation risks.

Intellectual Property Today recently featured a good article on how to manage the risks associated with patent translation. Managing Patent Translation Risks looks at different risks for different types of IP.

When translating prior art "the most significant risk is that of being mislead". And when a translation appears acceptable but is, in fact, of poor quality can cause problems years later, for example when a better translation is being produced during litigation.

When translating for overseas filing, the concern is that a poor translation won't "stand up in prosecution, much less enforcement".

If you are involved in IP translations, take a look at the IP Today article. You may also want to take a look the following resources:

ForeignExchange translates patents and other IP for medical device and pharmaceutical companies into 40+ languages. Ask us for a detailed proposal on your next medical translation project.


  1. Leonid Gornik said...
    I have been translating patent specifications for 30+ years. I also worked as a patent attorney (in Russia though). It is for the first time that I see here a serious attempt to address the problem. One of the issues: the translation market is flooded with cheap translators and "cheap" customers When translation is done via an agency, chances are you are not going to get a good document.
    Patent translations said...
    As patent is written in a explicit language and as it is a cold hard technology, it suffers less from the loss of translation inherent to high culture texts such as poems or advertising copy.

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