26 June 2013
In a move to further improve multilingual access to information contained in patent documents, the European Patent Office (EPO) today made another set of European languages available in its free machine translation service Patent Translate. With the addition of Bulgarian, Czech, Icelandic, Romanian, Slovak and Slovenian, the service now offers on-the-fly-translation from and into English for 21 languages. It is accessible on the EPO's free online patent database, Espacenet.
"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.
Patent Translate was launched in February 2012 to provide multilingual access to the vast collection of 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 aims to help European businesses better search and identify relevant patent documents for their R&D projects. Languages are gradually being added, with Japanese and Chinese being recent additions.
By the end of 2014 Patent Translate is expected to cover all 28 languages of the EPO's 38 member states, plus Russian and the major Asian languages. The service will then constitute the world's most comprehensive multilingual platform for patent information. The EPO's patent database, Espacenet, already contains more than 80 million patent documents from around the world.