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Patent translation

5 Reasons why good Patent Translation takes its time

Sometimes we get inquiries about patent translation with delivery deadlines that are a little too short to provide a high-quality translation. Therefore, we would like to explain why patent translation takes its time in this article, so you can get a better idea of the ideal timing to order your translation.

1. Patents are hard to translate

Patent applications are highly technical and complex. On top of that when translating you have to make sure that the translation covers the same scope as the original therefore you need to be extra careful when it comes to claims.

Therefore, the amount a translator can translate per day is smaller than compared to other kinds of texts. For a simple text, a professional translator might be able to translate up to 3.000 words per day whereas for patent translation the daily output is closer to 1.500 words.

2. Patent Translator Availability

As patents are very technical you usually would like someone with knowledge in the technical field of the patent to translate it. However, translators with technical backgrounds and knowledge are rare therefore translators that can handle your case might not be available immediately because they are currently working on a different project.

3. Research is also necessary for Patent Translation

Even if a translator is knowledgeable in the field of the invention, patents often talk about new technologies that the translator might not yet be very familiar with. Accordingly, to translate correctly they might have to spend some time researching the technical background & special terms the patent application uses.

4. Preparing formal Figures

Figure requirements differ from country to country. For Japan e.g., all figures that contain text have to be translated to Japanese and prepared as images files in a certain format that is designated by the Japanese Patent Office. Therefore, on top of the time required for the translation additional time is required for the editing of the figure image files.

5. Don’t forget the time to review

So far, we only talked about the actual translation, but in order to produce a high-quality translation, it is necessary to have the translation reviewed by at least a second pair of eyes. At transeuro we always have a translation reviewed by a second linguist before it proceeds o the final quality check in the quality assurance department.

Based on the above you can imagine that it would be unrealistic to finish a translation of a 20.000-word patent application in 2 weeks even if the translator would work without a single day off.

However, in general, when filing patents in foreign countries there should be enough time to prepare the translation. A lot of countries allow delayed submission of the translation after the national phase was entered and provide an additional 2 or 3 months. Therefore, unless your patent application is extremely long if you order the translation right after the national phase was entered time should not be an issue.

If you wait too long and therefore must submit a translation that is of lower quality due to limited time you might be faced with additional costs and procedures to correct the translation later. In the worst case, you could end up with a patent right that covers a smaller scope than the original application.

At transeuro we recommend ordering your patent translation as soon as possible to make sure there is enough time to produce a high-quality translation and review it accordingly. If you are interested in our translation services, please contact us.

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