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What to Look for in a Patent Translator

It’s one of the most demanding fields of translation, and it can cost a company untold amounts of money if it’s not done right. The good news? Having the right partner can take the mystery out of it.

Innovation can make or break a company in today’s marketplace. That’s why patent protection is so important – it prevents intellectual property theft and gives a competitive edge. If you want to secure patent protection in a foreign market, you need to plan out your filing process and have your patent documents translated. Here are three primary attributes to look for when choosing a patent translator.

The ability to coherently express complex technical concepts

A good patent translator should be able to write in a way that allows a reader to easily follow ideas and trains of thought. One idea should lead logically into the next, thanks to transitional words and phrases, structural markers, planned repetition, sentences with clear subjects, clear headings, and effective and parallel lists. Coherently connecting ideas is like building bridges between islands of thought, so the reader can easily move from one idea to the next.

Familiarity with the legal expressions used by the authority reading the patent

Patents are powerful documents, and translating them effectively requires a perfect command of the original and target languages, subject matter expertise, and detailed terminology knowledge. Including cultural equivalents or approximations in the target language can result in disastrous consequences, so linguists need to have the skills to be able to translate exactly what the original
text states.

A background in the subject of the patent

Patent documents include both legal and technical information. Both fields are broad and take years to master, but knowledge of both is an absolute must. Patents can contain massive amounts of numbers and technical signs, and if the translator isn’t aware of what they mean, the finished translation can contain critical errors.

Why it matters

Errors in patent translation can have disastrous consequences, including:

  • Project delays
  • Increased costs
  • Inaccurate patent information
  • Increased risk of intellectual property theft
  • Increased competition
  • Legal consequences
  • Ineligibility for patent protection and exclusive rights

The Argos approach

Hiring a professional language services provider is the quickest and easiest way to locate the right linguists for your patents. At Argos, we go to great lengths to make sure our patent experts are fluent in specific patent terminology, so whether you need a Polish translation of English prior art or a French patent application translated into Japanese, you can trust us to provide quality every time. We select each individual specialist according not only to their native language and expertise in patent language, but also their technical knowledge of the patent’s subject area. To learn more, get in touch with us.

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