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How to translate patents

Patent translation is an extremely delicate task. The approval of an international patent can determine the financial success of an inventor, entrepreneur, or anyone who makes a living from their intellectual work.

For a patent to be protected in other countries, a precise bureaucratic procedure must be followed. Once approved, the patent owner is granted international rights to their work.

What are the main difficulties that arise when translating patents and why is it necessary to rely on professionals?

Why and when is patent translation necessary?

No translation is required to file a patent in the country of origin, but for it to achieve international recognition, a translated version must be submitted to the patent office in other countries.

It is possible to file a patent in several countries at once through the European Union channels and by submitting a translation in at least one of the official EU languages, namely English, German or Spanish.

A patent must be translated for it to be recognised within the EU. Patents intended for countries outside the EU must be translated into the native language of the country in question.

A patent has very specific characteristics. First of all, it is a technical document that provides a detailed explanation of the features of the patented object – be it an invention, a trademark, or a product of someone’s intellectual work.

A patent can also be considered a legal document. Legislation must be correctly cited within the patent, and it must make reference to the act of applying for the patent.

Finally, a patent also resembles a piece of persuasive writing. It is absolutely essential that those applying for a patent effectively communicate the reasons for their request and convince the relevant institutions to accept it.

How is a patent translated?

As you can probably guess, the technical translation of a patent is a challenging task that must be entrusted exclusively to professional translators with experience in the legal sector. These professionals must also be able to produce perfect translations of technical terms (perhaps by using CAT tools, i.e. professional translation software) and be comfortable with persuasive writing.

It’s important to remember that a good translation must achieve the same effect as the original text. Understanding the register and tone of the target language is crucial when producing a persuasive text.

Redazione Eurotrad

May 10, 2021

Redazione Eurotrad

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