Patent Translate is a machine translation service specifically "trained" to handle elaborate patent vocabulary and grammar. It is now available in Espacenet and the European publication server, as well as via Google Translate.
It takes a statistical approach, comparing the source document sentence by sentence to millions of patent documents previously translated by humans. The final translation profits from this "previous learning" by the translation engine.
In co-operation with the national patent offices in its member states and with other key partner offices, the EPO has provided Google with millions of official, human-translated patent documents. These were used to train the translation engine to handle technical subject-matter and the specific style and format used for patent documents. Every year, millions of documents are added to the EPO's databases. These new documents too are fed into the system, continually improving the engine.
Patent Translate is now complete – one year ahead of schedule – offering on-the-fly-translation of patent documents for 28 official languages of the EPO's 38 member states, plus Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian. Since the service’s launch in February 2012, languages have been added gradually, and its completion had originally been foreseen for the end of 2014. Here is an overview of key developments: :
The machine translation should give you the gist of any patent or patent-related document, and help you to determine whether it is relevant. You might decide on this basis whether you need to invest in a human translation of the document.
Please note that the engine cannot provide legally binding translations.
We know that confidentiality is crucial for users of information provided by the EPO, so our agreement with Google ensures that nobody has access to information about your searches or translations.
Patent Translate was completed in December 2013, one year ahead of schedule, to cover 32 languages: all 28 languages of the EPO's member states plus Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian. This means that 2014 can be used to improve the quality of the service.
Every year, millions of documents are added to the EPO's databases. These new documents will also be fed into the system, continually improving the engine.