If you want to protect your intellectual property, you’re going to have to consider patent translation services at some point or another. In most cases, you should work with a linguist who specializes in this particular type of content. You’ll also need technical support as you repeat the process.
Each country will have its own patent application process to follow, so it’s wise to establish a database that includes all your standard terms and vernacular. This product guide will help streamline the operation and make it easier overall. All this starts by choosing the right patent translation services.
Why You Need Patent Translation Services
You should consider patenting your product if it is easy to copy or have a direct competitor in the same space. Otherwise, they could take your idea and patent it as their own, causing you to essentially lose your right to produce that product in that country.
Having a patent also often improves your business value and its overall marketing position. You could license that product to other producers and gain a revenue stream without manufacturing anything yourself. It’s often a savvy business move that increases the value of a company while controlling its overhead.
Before deciding if you need a patent, you should speak with an attorney specialized in that area. They’ll be able to help you better understand the process and the path. When you’re ready to move to international markets, they’ll guide you there as well.
A patent is technically only valid in the country where it’s filed. There is a Patent Cooperation Treaty that provides some additional protection by ensuring the 150 participating countries agree to recognize foreigners’ patents. However, that doesn’t make the exercise simple. Typically, a person seeking patent protection in foreign territories can do one of three things:
- File directly with the chosen country.
- File an application through the PCT directly and then choose the targeted countries.
- File a utility patent in the U.S. to protect your work, and then move on to option 1 or 2.
In many cases, you’ll likely have to deal with something called “national review.” This is essentially a mini-patent review specific to that country. There will be searches of databases, mountains of paperwork, and many follow-ups. You’ll need quality intellectual property translation services to move forward in the process.
Organizing Knowledge Management for Patent Translation
You will need a translated patent for the patent search portion of the national review in many cases. That means that you’re going to need an application in that target language for every country you enter. This process can create a lot of confusion (not to mention skyrocketing expenses), but it doesn’t have to.
As the patent process is very template-based, it’s easy to replicate—provided you have access to the right technology. You’ll need a knowledge management program specific to your product. It should incorporate:
- Definitions: Define the product itself, as well as any ambiguous terms.
- Processes: Explain the process of creation, broken down to a step-by-step basis.
- Mechanism: Covers a detailed explanation of how the product works.
- Branded terms/corporate lexicons: Any terms that won’t have a translation counterpart because of branding require clear outlining. Other grammatical and vernacular standards should be listed.
Once all these critical pieces of information are in order, they should be fed into a translation memory. This single consolidated place acts as the centralized storage of the product guide and provides the data necessary for machine translation later on.
As machine translation can be beneficial in rapidly filling out templates and standardized forms, it can be invaluable in the patent process. However, it requires customization for that specific product, which is where translation memory comes in.
Ideally, expansion and refinement are possible during the translation process. For example, early on, let’s say you decide you want to use the term “stylus” instead of “pen.” The translated memory should store that preference and enforce that decision. This buildable translation memory ensures that content gets better with every project submitted, so the more patents filed, the more streamlined the process.
In such a knowledge management program, confidentiality is critical—especially during the application process where information that enters the public sector becomes unpatentable. All documents should be held in an end-to-end, fully encrypted space. Email typically isn’t secure enough for such a sensitive project.
Patent translation services can help you streamline the process of gaining international acceptance of your proprietary idea. However, it’s a complex procedure that requires in-depth legal assistance and attention to detail. A translation program powered by knowledge management technology like translation memories helps simplify filing and speeds approvals.