Tag Archives: Jeremy Coombs

Stop Making These Three Patent Filing Mistakes, Says Our Jeremy Coombs

In an article on today’s IPFrontline.com, senior VP of operations at MultiLing, Jeremy Coombs, outlined what he sees as the three biggest patent filing mistakes companies are making when drafting and filing their patent applications domestically and worldwide. While his suggestions on how to combat them won’t guarantee zero risk, they will decrease the chance of unnecessary litigation when patent filing and better prepare you to fight the litigation if it arises.

While the full article can be read at http://ipfrontline.com/2016/01/three-biggest-gaffes-that-increase-the-risk-of-patent-litigation/, here are some points that will paint the picture:

  1. Be aware of what’s on the market so you’ll be more aware of the uniqueness of your product.
  2. Make sure your original patent application is accurate and clear, which, according to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee, give patent owners “a clear notice of the boundaries of their patent rights.” It also helps ensure subsequent applications in other languages begin with accurate and clear content.
  3. Ensure your patent translation service providers employs true experts – in-country, native speakers intimately familiar with the cultural nuances critical to how words are used or phrased, as well as experts in the science of your invention and patent law in the countries in which you’re seeking protection.

Are you already doing the above, or have you suffered from mistakes you – or your company – have made when filing for patent protection? We’d love to speak with you about how MultiLing’s team of native linguists, scientists, engineers and legal specialists can help you decrease the risk of litigation.

Science or Art? Accurate IP Translations Need Both, Says Coombs

UnknownJeremy Coombs, senior vice president of operations at MultiLing, recently posted an article about the debate of science vs. art in IP translations on the GALA blog.

“Is translation a creative process or simply the cold “one-to-one” transformation of words from one language to another? In my experience, art wins out in most debates,” wrote Coombs.

However, specific texts, such as intellectual property documents that are very scientific in nature, will require precision and exactness. Coombs wonders if Einstein and Shakespeare can meet and whether science and art can coexist.

“When we consider translation from the perspective of science, we see many theories and models that attempt to explain communication,” continued Coombs. “For example, the Shannon and Weaver model conceptualizes communication (and translation, by extension), as a process of encoding a source message and transmitting this message to a receiver, which then decodes the message. The success of this process is determined by the receiver’s understanding of the source message.”

However,all writing is a creative process and when representing an invention, word choice is key. Coombs believes that the most skilled translators possess both the mind of a scientist and the heart of an artist. Interestingly, in the patent realm when someone understands the science behind an invention they are said to be skilled in the art.

“Authors and translators learn the preferences of their audience and adapt their art and tools appropriately—including adopting technology tools such as terminology management software to ensure consistency across a team of translators.

“Invention and translation. Both processes require the thorough weaving of art and science. Leonardo da Vinci would be proud,” concluded Coombs.


Jeremy Coombs is the senior vice president of operations at MultiLing, the innovative leader in intellectual property (IP) translations and related support services for foreign patent filings. He joined MultiLing in 1999 and has become one of the company’s principal operations and technology minds. In his current role, he manages large-scale translation and localization projects for companies such as Dell, LSI Corporation, Qlogic, Intuit, and GE Healthcare.

 

3 Essentials for Reducing Litigation Risk When Protecting IP

by Jeremy Coombs, PMP, MultiLing Senior Vice President of Operations

The world’s largest biotechnology companies file thousands of domestic and foreign patents each year to protect their valuable intellectual property. Unfortunately, the successful filing and issuance of a patent doesn’t ensure its safety. In fact, a poorly drafted patent—one with inaccurate or incomplete details and terminology from the start, before any translation begins—may result in patents being challenged in court by competition and ultimately invalidated.

To reduce the possibility of litigation long before it happens, companies must repeatedly implement best practices with a focus on quality from the start, including:

  • The quality of the patent itself;
  • The quality of the legal counsel; and
  • The quality of the translations that facilitate foreign patent filings aimed at protecting IP on a global scale.

Let’s look at these a little more closely:

Ensure Quality Patent Applications from the Start. Quality patent applications—with precise and specific terminology—ensure that the specific invention is covered accurately in the original language so subsequent translations begin from quality documents. Those drafting patent applications must know the market, the subject matter and the relevant inventions that have been patented previously and those that are in public domain.

Contract with Quality Legal Teams Familiar with Filing Processes. In addition to subject matter experts, only work with knowledgeable legal practitioners that are up to date with the current laws, rules and procedures in the jurisdictions in which you are seeking protection. Companies or inventors that understand the significance of inadvertent disclosure, for example, ensure that their legal team works closely with their R&D and marketing teams before making any information about the invention public. For example, an enterprise working with a large IP law firm learned this the hard way. The firm received an urgent call from the client just 24 hours before a presentation in Japan. Due to a lack of communication among product, legal and marketing teams, the enterprise needed a patent application translated and filed before disclosure to avoid losing its patent rights in various countries. Under great stress and at significant added costs, the firm completed the request, but this fire drill was a costly misstep for the enterprise.

Hire Expert Translators with Streamlined Quality Processes. Patent terminology plays a huge role in litigation, regardless of where the litigation originates. This is why all patent filings should be carefully and precisely drafted and then translated by specialized teams that include in-country native linguists, scientists and legal specialists who are familiar with the applicable technology. Ensure your patent translation service provider uses terminology management systems that will keep track of terms that may be less common, or that need to remain precise, and that are consistent across multiple languages in a streamlined database.

Even one misused word can leave a patent vulnerable to litigation, as well as create costly delays during the review of the patent application. For example, while European translations of chemical names can look very similar to English speakers, only an experienced chemist could employ the proper Chinese equivalent.
The difference of a single letter in English (e.g., “methyl” and “ethyl” in a long chemical name) changes the entire name of the chemical in Chinese. Having the wrong chemical in the translation can render that portion of the patent unenforceable.

Although the only way to eliminate the risk of litigation completely is to stop doing business altogether, this leaves the world with an obvious undesirable impact on growth, prosperity and continual change in commerce. Ensuring that quality documents are created by quality people, processes and technologies will go a long way in reducing overall risk and minimizing negative impact on enterprising business across the globe. This is especially critical as biotechnology companies continue to produce more and more IP that needs to be protected worldwide.

In the News: MultiLing Quietly Handles Business Translations for Global Commerce

daily heraldProvo, Utah’s local newspaper – the Daily Herald – published an article Sunday about MultiLing’s quiet presence in the city, while at the same time being a hugely global company as it provides business translations for intellectual property departments at global enterprises. MultiLing has had its headquarters in Provo since being founded in 1988 by Michael Sneddon, who is currently president and CEO.

MultiLing_Michael_SneddonThe Daily Herald reported on the company’s strategy and unique culture: “For the first decade of the company’s operations, Sneddon drew on the natural linguistic talents…and the many international speakers that flocked to the valley. The company translated anything and everything. That changed 17 years ago.”

Sneddon saw an opportunity to focus on translating technical patents for companies and “really innovated the way corporations translate the legal documents associated with patents,” said Lyle Ball, COO.

“We’ve specialized ourselves in highly technical patents….All of our translators need to speak three languages, actually – their native language, English, and lawyer-speak,” commented Jeremy Coombs, senior vice president of operations.

And Coombs, who’s been at MultiLing for almost 17 years, enjoys rubbing shoulders with 20 to 30 cultures each day. “Our office is a little U.N. here, but the MultiLing culture is the recipe that holds us together,” Coombs added.

You can access the full article in the MultiLing news room.

The Human Value in Document Translation – Even When Done by Machine

New reports forecast growth of the machine translation market at nearly 25 percent in the next four years, with technological improvements likely along the way. With such expectations, It’s tempting to believe computers will soon perform professional document translation services well enough that there soon will be no need for human translators.

UnknownBut Jeremy Coombs, senior vice president of operations at MultiLing, shares why he believes it’s not time yet to give up on humans in the near future. In an article for the GALA blog he outlines how humans who specialize in their native languages, cultures and fields of expertise still need to be involved in the majority of translations, even while technology such as machine translation plays an important role in making valuable content in one language accessible to all.

MultiLing-Jeremy-Coombs-en“The need for and value of human translators is especially true for intellectual property, particularly patent applications, where even one mistranslated word can result in invalidated patents and millions of lost revenue.”

Read the full article here.