Patent documentation just got a little easier at the European Trademark Office (EPO). The office recently announced that additional European languages are now available in its free machine translation service Patent Translate. They include Bulgarian, Czech, Icelandic, Romanian, Slovak and Slovenian.
“Patent Translate removes the language barrier from patent documentation, giving European inventors and businesses easier access to state-of-the-art technologies,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. “We are very pleased to offer users in this new group of countries better access to patent documents from all over the world, while making information about their inventions readily available in English to a very large number of users. This contributes to patent quality and helps to strengthen the competitiveness of European enterprises,” he said.
As detailed by the EPO, Patent Translate was launched in February 2012 to provide multilingual access to patent documents available on the EPO website. It is the result of co-operation between Google, the EPO and the national patent offices of its member states, and other major patent offices worldwide, which supply patent data in their national languages to train the system.
The service now offers fast translation from and into English for 21 languages, with Japanese and Chinese being recent additions. It is accessible on the EPO’s free online patent database, Espacenet. The goal is to help businesses identify relevant patent documents for their research and development projects.