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Translating the Unitary Patent I: ‘Laminated Jealous Glass’

Mis à jour : 9 Fév 2015


For Europeans who don’t speak English, German or French, the three official Unitary Patent (UP) languages, the future UP system will bring about an even more radical change than for those that do. Over the years, millions of patents from companies all over the world will have been held valid in their territory, although these patents would only be available in one of those three official UP languages. With Patent Translate, the machine translation system developed jointly by the European Patent Organisation (EPO) and Google, anyone will henceforth be able to read a patent description in his or her mother tongue.

Patent Translate has a statistical approach. ‘The system translates by comparing sentence by sentence from a source document to millions of patent documents which have previously been translated by human translators for the purposes of preparing patent specifications. The system is equipped with a “learning” facility based on official patent documents collected by the EPO in cooperation with patent offices in Member States (…)’, as Deloitte explains in its 2012 report ‘Analysis of prospective economic effects related to the implementation of the system of unitary patent protection in Poland’.

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