Author Archives: Brian Chaney

MultiLing in the News: Legal Translations in Latin America

gala logo
The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) blog recently published an article by MultiLing’s director of business development in Latin America, Evelyn Paredes.

In her article, “The Unique Challenges of Legal Translation in Latin America,” Paredes describes the growth of Pacific Alliance countries – Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico – and how an elimination in tariffs is simplifying trade with Asia.

EvelynParedesIs the translation business in Latin America, specifically in these four countries, really prepared to handle the increasing demand for legal translations in the region and beyond?

While most people associate the Spanish language with the Latin American region, the Caribbean, Central America and South America are neither culturally or linguistically homogeneous. And among the 60 percent that do speak Spanish, each country has different local dialects, as well as rich cultures and radically different laws based on these cultures. As a result, translating legal documents requires much more than precision and technical expertise in the legal texts of the countries involved. It also requires a thorough understanding of the country’s law, dialect and the local culture.

In addition, as more global companies look to do business with Asian companies, they will need to find translation service providers who also have expertise in the languages of the countries in which they want to do business – Chinese, Japanese or Korean – as well as their Latin American language.

Read the full article in the MultiLing news room for additional considerations when translating legal documents in Latin America.

MultiLing in the News: Unique Challenges of Protecting IP in Japan

ipfrontlinelogoTwo more publications recently included articles about the unique challenges of protecting intellectual property in Japan. IP Frontline used a column bylined by Adam Bigelow, MultiLing’s regional director for Asia, “5 Roles Translation Plays in Filing a Patent in Japan,” as well as an infographic on Japanese patent translation. This was the lead article when it appeared. Read the entire article in the MultiLing news room or at IPFrontline

B2C_LogoAdditionally, Michael Sneddon, MultiLing founder and CEO, published an article on the same topic at Business2Community: “Unique Challenges of Protecting Intellectual Property in Japan: An Interview with MultiLing’s Adam Bigelow.” As the resident expert for MultiLing in Asia, Adam answered some of Michael’s questions about how to avoid obstacles in translating and filing patents for protection in Japan. The complete article can be read at the Business2Community site or from the MultiLing news room.

Over the last few years, patent filings in northeast Asia – specifically China, Japan and South Korea – have grown significantly – and it doesn’t look like a decrease is in sight. In fact, this growth has contributed to the strongest rate of global intellectual property growth in nearly two decades, according to the World Intellectual Property Indicators 2013. Japan currently ranks second in the world in patent applications received (342,796).

It’s no surprise then that MultiLing is seeing increased demand for IP translation services across Asia. While these articles focus on Japan, watch for future stories that will highlight unique aspects of translation and filing in China and South Korea. Be sure to share your comments online, as well as the information in the articles with your social networks!

MultiLing in the News: 4 Things To Consider Before Going Global

going global
Michael Sneddon, MultiLing president and CEO, recently published an article in highlighting four tips for a successful global launch of your business. As MultiLing president, Sneddon, leads a company that has offices in eight markets and offers translation services in more than 80 languages in 120 countries. What other tips have you learned from your experience?

Read the full article at or from the MultiLing newsroom.

MultiLing Opens New Office in Taiwan

Also Expands Offices in China, Japan and South Korea to Meet Increasing Demand for IP Translation Services Across Asia

Taipei City. Taiwan is home to more than half of the top 100 IT companies in Asia.

A new MultiLing office in Taipei City and a 270 percent increase in office space in China, Japan and South Korea will accommodate additional employees and strongly position MultiLing to meet the increasing demand for IP translation services across Asia.

Read related press release here.

“According to a recent study of IP translations, errors in patent applications that open litigation risk are most frequently found when translating patent applications to and from Asian languages,” said Michael Sneddon, founder and chief executive officer, MultiLing. “With our new office in Taiwan, and larger offices in ChinaJapan and Korea, we’re expanding our Asian region capacity to provide legal teams with the right people, processes and technologies necessary for high quality translations that reduce related costs, decrease office actions, minimize litigation risks and reduce time to grant.”

The World Intellectual Property Indicators 2013 report details that for the first time in 2012 China accounted for the largest number of patents filed throughout the world (560,681). In addition, the State IP Office (SIPO) in China accounted for the largest number of applications received by any single IP office worldwide (652,777). Japan ranks second in the number of patents filed, followed by the United States, then South Korea.

Growth in Asia

Taiwan:MultiLing’s new office in Taipei marks the company’s presence in a market that ranks as one of the most important links in the global supply chain of technology products. It is home to more than half of the top 100 IT companies in Asia, as well as research and development centers for 30 multinational companies, including HP, Dell, IBM, Intel, Corning, DuPont and Microsoft.

“Our office in Tianjin has successfully handled translation to and from Simplified Chinese for many years,” said Adam BigelowAsia regional director, MultiLing. “However, Taiwan is a thriving market of its own, and we’re receiving a growing number of requests for Traditional Chinese translations as well. Completing translation work in the location where Traditional Chinese is written better serves our clients and follows our global processes of providing native, scientific, engineering, legal and linguistic human talent to Global 500 legal teams.”

ChinaMultiLing’s expanded China office is located in Tianjin, the sixth largest city in China and one of China’s economic hotspots. More than 280 of the Fortune Global 500 companies have established branches in the Tianjin Binhai New Area (TBNA).

JapanIn August 2013, MultiLing moved into a new, modern office in downtown Yokohama, a port city just outside Tokyo that is home to the headquarters of Nissan, Fuji Xerox and other global enterprises.

South KoreaIn January, MultiLing doubled its office space in Seoul by moving up one floor in its existing office building. In the past year, this office hired numerous employees that formerly worked as professional IP researchers in the Korea Institute of Patent Information (KIPI), run by the Korean government.

In the News: Save Your Money: Reduce IP Litigation Risk

acc docket_may 2014 cover
The ACC Docket
, the magazine of the Association of Corporate Counsel, published an article in its May issue with tips on reducing litigation risk, which can cost an enterprise $2.5 million on average, along with a shortened invention life and decreased overall market share.

According to authors Stuart W. Hinckley, MultiLing’s general counsel, and H. Disckson Burton, the intellectual property litigator at TraskBritt, P.C., one way to reduce this risk is to develop your own IP – and protect it globally, ensuring along the way that enterprises only allow foreign patent filings to be translated by specialized teams of in-country native linguists, scientists, engineers and legal specialists who are familiar with the applicable technology. In addition, they wrote:

“These teams should interact through centralized processes and technologies that will increase the quality, consistency, and the on-time delivery of the translated patent documents at a fair value.”

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

If you’re a member of the ACC, you can find out additional steps you can take to reduce your risk of litigation by logging in at the ACC Docket here or read the article in the MultiLing newsroom.

IP News Roundup: China opens IP center, America’s IP exceeds $5 trillion

A summary of IP and patent news around the world.

Pirates beware as China opens first intellectual property center

The law firm Rouse recently linked up with the prestigious Tsinghua University to launch China’s first intellectual property center in Beijing, which aims to support the 31,000 current students and all past alumni of the university, as well as local businesses in the Haidian district of the capital where Tsinghua is located, with developing and commercializing their ideas. Read more

America’s IP Worth More than $5 Trillion, Reports U.S. Chamber

The U.S. Chamber reported this week that America’s IP is worth more than $5 trillion. How did it come up with this figure? According to the article, IP-intensive industries—everything from movies to manufacturing—account for nearly 35% of total U.S. GDP. They support 40 million American jobs, which pay 42% more than jobs that rely less on IP. They are responsible for more than 60% of all U.S. exports, to the tune of $775 billion. If you add it all up, America’s IP is worth more than $5 trillion. Read more

US Faults China, India Over Intellectual Property

The United States is highlighting failures by China and India to curb intellectual property theft in an annual report that could add to strains in relations between Washington and the two Asian powers. Read more

Patented Boeing Autopilot Technology Questioned in Missing Malaysia Flight MH370

Boeing has a patent for technology that can overtake planes mid-flight from the ground, disabling access to power controls for anyone onboard the aircraft. The patent, which was granted to Boeing years ago, evidences the company’s possession of technology that many have thought to be non-existent. With the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, some are suggesting that remote takeover is a possibility. Read more

Infographic: Japanese Patents & Translation

japan infographic final
Have you ever wondered what some of the different patent filing rules are in other countries? Pretty niche question, right?

Here’s an infographic from MultiLing on some of the stats and details for Japanese patent translations and filing patents in Japan — a leading country in the technological world.

Click the graphic twice to view a larger image.

In the News: Are You Following “Best Practices” in IP Translations?

IP law firms represent a great market for MultiLing’s IP translation services as well other related IP support services. This week, Lyle Ball, MultiLing COO, published a guest post on the Wells IP Law blog about best practices in IP translations.

MultiLing COO Lyle BallWith law firms’ client’s intellectual property – and future business – at stake, Ball highlights how critical it is that whomever touches the patent application follows specific best practices in patent translations. In his article he highlights how MultiLing focuses on people, processes and technologies to provide superior service to its global clients.

To read more about these best practices and how MultiLing clients have benefitted, visit theWells IP Law blog or the MultiLing news room.

IP News Roundup

A summary of IP and patent news around the world.

Senate Patent Reform Bill Delayed Yet Again

A bi-partisan Senate bill aimed at curbing abuse of the U.S. patent system has been handed another setback today, with Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announcing that, for the fourth time, consideration of the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act will be postponed. What is stuck at the moment is the details. The two-week recess could provide enough time to get things in order. GIven that the bill is sponsored by both parties, barring complication, the act could clear committee by early May. Read more. 

US Patent Office Goes International

Looking to reduce costs in the international patent system, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has established a new division intended to facilitate collaboration between the United States and other countries on patents, the agency announced last Thursday. The Office of International Patent Cooperation aims to improve international patent rights acquisition and help U.S. companies better protect their intellectual property abroad—and profit from it. Mark Powell, who most recently worked on global collaboration issues in the PTO Office of Policy and International Affairs, will lead the new division. Read more.

Foreigners Hold Half of All U.S. Patents Annually

Recent statistics from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and new independent surveys suggest much of America’s innovation is not home-grown: Many of the country’s best and brightest ideas come from noncitizens. In 2013, 51 percent of the 303,000 patents filed in the U.S. were of foreign origin, according to the USPTO. That’s a decrease of one percentage point compared to 2012, but about equal to the percentage of foreign patents granted every year for the past decade. To get some perspective, in 1963, only 18 percent of patents originated from foreign sources. Read more. 

Phones in courtroom biggest hitch in smartphone patent trial

So far, one of the biggest problems for a federal judge overseeing a patent battle between the world’s largest smartphone makers isn’t about stolen ideas. It’s getting the roomful of smartphone devotees to turn off their devices. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has become increasingly frustrated during the first few days of the trial because the many personal Wi-Fi signals interfere with a network the judge relies on for a real-time transcript of the proceedings. The phones also ring, buzz and jingle and can be used to take photos, a serious violation of court rules. Read more.

patent for salePenn State auctions intellectual property

Hoping to draw attention to university patents with dwindling shelf lives, on March 31 Penn State launched the Intellectual Property Auction Website. The site — the first of its kind among American universities — gave corporations, public organization and private citizens alike the chance to bid on licensing rights for approximately 70 patents created in the university’s School of Engineering. Read more.

What Makes Japanese Patent Translation So Difficult?


Did you realize that the Japanese language has four different alphabets, or sets of writing symbols? They are hiragana, katakanakanji, as well as romaji, which is simply the Latin alphabet used for phonetic spelling of Japanese words. No wonder companies report that Japanese patent translations have one of the highest error rates, according to a study by the Steinbeis Transfer Institute of Stuttgart, Germany.

In fact, not only are there three principle alphabets, but almost all Japanese sentences contain bothhiragana and kanji, while some additionally use katakana, particularly for foreign words and scientific terms. Because of this mixture of scripts and the large inventory of kanji characters, the Japanese writing system is often considered to be the most complicated in use anywhere in the world.

Here are some of the characteristics of each set:

  1. HiraganaHiragana is a phonetic-based character set and therefore more properly called a syllabary than an alphabet. It is the basis of the Japanese writing system and is usually the first alphabet to master when learning Japanese. Each of the 46 symbols stands for a sound or syllable and when combined they are pronounced to create words. Hiragana was originally influenced by Chinese calligraphy and was mainly used by women who did not have the same access to education as men in order to learn kanji. Female authors used the script in literature and hiragana gradually became popular as a less formal form of communication. Today, hiragana is used, along with kanji, for native Japanese words and grammatical elements.
  2. KatakanaKatakana is another syllabary that was developed a little later than hiragana and originated as a kind of shorthand for Chinese characters because Chinese was still a major form of communication in Japan at the time. Katakana was used for official communication but has given way to hiragana as the main alphabet for writing. Katakana characters are still used for transcribing foreign words and names into Japanese, as well onomatopoeia, scientific names and sometimes to replace kanji or hiragana for emphasis.
  3. Kanji is actually a set of Chinese ideographic characters that are still used in modern Japanese, and therefore it is the oldest written alphabet in Japan. Because kanji isn’t phonetic, it is considered the most confusing alphabet when learning Japanese. Each ideographic kanji character represents a whole word or idea, often nouns, verbs and adjectives. There are more than a thousand characters that are used in everyday communications, and many more that are used less frequently.
  4. Romaji is simply the Latin alphabet used to phonetically spell Japanese words. It is used in modern written Japanese for acronyms from languages that use the Latin alphabet and is also frequently used by foreign students of Japanese who have not yet mastered the three main scripts. Native speakers also will use romaji for computer input.

In English we have many different words to choose from to communicate a precise meaning and we can also add extra descriptive words. In Japanese, however, a combination of alphabets is used to accomplish the same goal. This accounts for a lot of the difficulty in English-to-Japanese translations. Most Japanese text will have hiraganasyllables interspersed with kanji to represent some nouns and katakana for foreign or scientific words.

MultiLing can provide Japanese patent translations that will meet the highest levels of accuracy and specificity. As you would expect from a patent translation service provider, MultiLing has highly qualified native translators, expert team members and organized project managers. With the expertise of advanced linguistic and technical degrees, MultiLing translators can create a Japanese patent translation that will protect your enterprise’s intellectual property.