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2021.04.05

Patent translation

4 Points about the format of Japanese Patent Translations you might not be aware of


When translating an English or German patent specification that is intended for filing in Japan to Japanese, we employ the format that is specified by the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) so the translation can be filed with the JPO without further formatting.

The format of the JPO might differ slightly from the format in other countries. In this article, we would like to cover some specifics that we receive questions about frequently.

1. Paragraph Numbers have 4 Digits

In a Japanese patent specification, the paragraph number always must be four digits. Accordingly, the first paragraph would be numbered as【0001】and not 【1】. When translating we adjust the paragraph numbers accordingly in the original specifications does not use four digits.

2. Brief Description of Drawings needs to be under one Paragraph

In US applications you often see that the section that describes the drawings does have several paragraphs. However, the JPO specifies a different format. In a Japanese patent application, the whole description needs to be in a single paragraph. Within that paragraph the drawings are separated by special paragraph numbers like 【図1】 , 【図2】, 【図3】and so on. 図is Japanese for figure or drawing.

Accordingly, the paragraphs numbers of a Japanese translation can differ from the original text after this section. Sometimes this can make it difficult to find which paragraph of the original corresponds to which paragraph of the translation.

 

Example for the description of drawings in a Japanese application

Example for the description of drawings in a Japanese application

3. Numbers of Drawings do not need to be translated

 According to the format specified by the JPO the numbering of figures such as Fig. 1, Fig.2 should not be included in the image file of the drawing. Drawings should be numbered in text form instead.

Accordingly, it is not required to translate drawing numbers to Japanese when filing in Japan. If you look at a drawing section of a Japanese specification you will find the above mentioned 【図1】 , 【図2】, 【図3】again. For an example of the correct drawing format, you can refer to the JPO website. However, if requested we can insert a Japanese translation of the drawing number into the images as well.

 

Example for correctly numbered drawings in a Japanese application

Example for correctly numbered drawings in a Japanese application

4. Text in Screenshots is usually not translated

Some applications use screenshots of software in their drawings. The text in such screenshots is usually not translated in the case of patent applications, therefore we do not translate it by default. If, however, you require a translation, just let us know.

If not requested differently we provide all Japanese translations of patent specifications intended for filing according to the format specified by the JPO. If you prefer a different format or have certain requirements, please let us know when placing your translation order. This way we can ensure a smooth delivery of a translation that is according to your requirements.

You can contact us through our contact form if you are interested in using our translation services. We provide patent translation from English to Japanese and from German to Japanese. Translation from Japanese to English or German is available as well.


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