Patent translation can help protect your intellectual property abroad, but is also a complex area of translation with no room for error or confusion. As globalisation and diversification bring opportunities for selling abroad, it is important, especially in competitive and saturated markets, to avoid your products being copied. In the latest blog in our “Ask Albion” series, our experts discuss patent translation and its importance in the global marketplace…

What do patents cover?

Many inventions can be patented. This includes new processes, products, machines, or enhancements to existing items or technologies. It is advisable to apply for a patent if your product is unique in some way. Patents cannot be applied to things that are not new. Thus there is no sense in registering changes to existing products if they are only minor ones.

Why is patent translation needed?

With globalisation enabling businesses to sell more effectively overseas than ever before, it is important to safeguard your ideas and products against theft. With businesses seeking to diversify to stay relevant in the marketplace during Covid-19, protecting what makes your business unique is crucial.

Although it may seem a potential solution, using online translation tools to translate patents involves significant risk. This is because patent translation involves a mix of complex legal terminology and very detailed technical texts. Patent translation should thus be undertaken by translators with a wealth of experience in both fields, to exclude the possibility of error or confusion. A translator with knowledge of the law in the relevant jurisdiction can ensure the legal terminology is appropriate for that market.

As regards the technical aspect of patent translations, it is important to bear in mind that many patent applications come from manufacturers. It is vital to select a translator familiar with manufacturing so that they can translate all elements of the patent application, including the supporting pictures. Errors in applications can delay the granting of patent requests, leaving inventions exposed. Exporters of goods should consider patenting eligible products across all marketplaces.

Why is patent translation so important in 2020?

Competition in many industries is already fierce. As businesses begin to adapt to the changing business landscape caused by the coronavirus crisis, it is likely new players will enter specific markets such as healthcare. We have already seen useful and innovative inventions being created during the pandemic such as a virus killing snood and a ventilator that aids breathing while also cleaning virus particles from the surrounding air.

The UK recently entered a recession and research suggests that this could be a good time to start a new business. Big names such as Uber and Airbnb, to name two, were set up during the global financial crisis. With job losses already underway, increasing numbers of people may turn to self-employment as a solution.

Naturally, as new businesses pop up, the risk of ideas being stolen or rehashed may increase. When you consider that, in 2019, UK exports to the EU accounted for 43% of all UK exports at £300 billion GBP, cross-border selling has huge potential. It’s also worth noting that Brexit may change the way we trade overseas and internationally so it’s important to be able to protect your assets.

In some countries, copying products is commonplace, and versions of products without a protective patent can be turned around quickly.

Consult with technical translation experts

Consulting with technical translation experts is an important first step for your patent translations. The translations must be clearly understood by those dealing with the patent request after all. Importantly, if an infringement occurs on your patent once it has been approved, the translations need to be unambiguous with no room for misunderstanding. This can help your case if legal action is deemed necessary to resolve the issue.

Want to find out more about protecting your business and its inventions in International markets? Contact our experts today for a no-obligation discussion!