In a major step to improve access to patent documents in multiple languages the EPO today launched a new machine translation service, called Patent translate, on the EPO's website. The service uses Google's Translate technology and enables translation from and to English for French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Swedish, covering approximately 90% of all patents issued in Europe. By the end of 2014, the service will also be able to translate patents from and into all 28 languages of the EPO member states, as well as Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian.
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
The IPKat has just seen this announcement on the European Patent Office (EPO) website:
This collaboration between the EPO and Google was announced a little over a year ago, and this is the first stage of the implementation. The EPO website also has (apparently in today’s world obligatory) FAQs. The translation can be accessed either via Espacenet or the EPO Publication Server. Instructions for use can be found here.
Basically, once you have up the text that you want, you just click a button and the translation appears. The IPKat has performed a quick test accessing via Espacenet, and has found that procedurally it works well. It will take him a little longer to check what is the quality of the translation. This of course is the important point. If the machine translation does not result in a text which can actually be understood, then it is of very little value indeed. If any readers are trying the system, please let the IPKat know your experience.