Application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
The PCT is an international agreement between 117 countries to provide an easier patent filling application process. However, inventors should be aware that the PCT system does not provide you with an international patent. By using the PCT, the inventor can file a single patent application with one patent office (e.g. UK patent office) so that he/she can seek for simultaneous protection for his/her invention in the other 116 countries. The application has to be one of the ten publication languages, and that includes Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian or Spanish.
It is common practice to hire patent translation services from a professional company to translate your patent application into English. This is because English is still the most frequently used language in business and science. Do go for a reputable translation company because the quality of the work will have a huge impact on your PCT application. One should note that patent translation will not have a very natural writing style because patent translation needs to be written in a legal style that contains specific information. Furthermore, patent description tends to be very technical. Therefore, a professional translation service will ensure that you have a watertight description of your invention.
Patent Translation for Filing Is Different From Patent Translation for Information
Patent translation services can vary according to the needs of the client. Sometimes the patent translation is only needed for understanding certain patent information, for use of litigation, or investigation of a prior art. In that case, the patent translation will be a more literal translation and the main aim is to get the key information across. This type of patent translation is also very suitable for internal circulation and much cheaper compared to full patent translation for filling.
On the other hand, patent translation for filing will be carried out by specialist native translators. The translated patent will also be proofread by another expert translator. These translators have working knowledge of intellection property regulations to ensure that the translation is also legally sound. Before filing to the patent office, the translated patent application will be checked by a local patent lawyer to ensure the format of application is correct. With all these safeguard processes in place; one should expect the price to be more expensive compared to patent translation just for information.
An unpatented invention is of no value. Hence, inventors are very reluctant to disclose their invention to a third party. An information leak from the translation company is the last thing any inventor wants to see. So, do make sure that the professional translation company you hire has a good reputation and also a robust confidentiality policy. Always ask the translation company to explain to you on what precautions will be taken to protect the translation work and the original information. This will help to prevent any unnecessary complication in the future.