What is Patent Translation?
This is the translation of legal information pertaining to governmental authority giving a person or a corporation the exclusive rights to produce or benefit from an invention (intellectual property) for a given period of time. Related terms include a license and copyright.
Accurate patent translation protects the inventor(s) from patent thieves who would want to utilize loopholes that may be present in an inaccurately translated document. It helps the inventor to recoup expenses incurred during the invention process and also to make profits. It is a necessary step needed while getting into new markets in different geographical locations.
Qualities of a Good Patent Translator
- Must be fluent in languages involved
- Must have adequate knowledge of the concerned patent industry. Having a legal background can also be advantageous.
- Professional and highly accurate
- Must be aware of patent related regulations in countries where the translation information will be used.
- Must be trustworthy and maintain confidentiality and keep client’s information in their possession secure.
- Must be able to complete the job quickly without compromising on the quality.
- A patent translator must be conversant with the various stages of patent development and know the one they are dealing with and what the customer is expecting.
For example, ‘art and research’ is one of the stages of patent registration that requires a slightly different translation needs. Accurate translation of this information will help you give your client the most relevant patent content. This document usually contains scientific information and so being conversant in science is helpful.
- As a patent translator, you may need to translate work related to legal action. This is where there are issues with patent infringement. This usually involves going through the whole patent information history and compiling it in a concise but relevant document that can be used in the case. Speed, ability to summarize and retain important information will help you do well here.
- A third type of patent translation is where the purpose is to file the patent work in another country. The information must be consistent and maintain the meaning in the original document. If you cannot assure your client this, then you could land him into patent problems or expose them to intellectual property thieves.
Patent translation needs specific skills and so you need to specialize in this field. As a general translator, the quality of your work will be low if you take up jobs in this niche. Apart from this, as an expert you will naturally ask for higher rates from your work.
It is also important to choose your patent translation languages. Currently China is the leader in patent registration and knowing Chinese can be good for you. The U.S follows China in that regard. Other leaders in patent registration are Korean and Japanese. Specializing in language combinations involving these languages can mean more lucrative work for you.
Other Considerations of Getting into Patent Translation Services
- Master your combination languages. There are many internet sites that offer basic patent translation training. An example of such a source is the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website. Take advantage of this.
- Decide whether you want to be a freelancer or an in-house patent translator. Working in a translation office initially can be an important part of learning the ropes.
- Mentorship/internship programs. Working with those who have been in this field for sometimes will help you lay your patent translation career on firm grounds. Other options may include taking a course in patent law online.