16 December 2015PatentsLynn Wang, Yuming Wei and York Faulkner

How not to get lost in patent translation

Filing an international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is becoming much more routine due to the convenience of simultaneously establishing the priority date of an invention in all 100-plus PCT member countries.

Moreover, most applicants find that after drafting and filing their priority application in their home country, there is little more substantive work required for completing the subsequent national phase filings in each of the targeted PCT countries and regions. Typically, all that remains is to translate the priority application into the local languages where the national phase filings have been made. Because the translated application becomes the basis for examination in each of the national phase countries, rendering an accurate translation is a necessary and, needless to say, important step in prosecuting the PCT applications.

Figures 1 and 2 show, for example, the basic workflow of filing and prosecuting a PCT national stage application in China. The process is similar in Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, and most other member countries.

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