“Centralized Translation is Key to Successful IP”

MultiLing CEO Michael Sneddon was speaker at the 2012 Global IP Exchange Conference (IQPC) in Munich in March. “Centralized translation is a primary key to successfully addressing the increased processing rate of national and international patent applications” was one of his key messages during a one-hour presentation. Michael partnered with Hirohito Katsunuma, president of Japanese law firm Kyowa Patent and Law Office, to present best practices that have proven successful for large companies that are successfully globalizing their current businesses.

The main issue in translating patents for foreign markets is the extreme lack of coordinated effort among the majority of patent lawyers and translation service providers. MultiLing therefore suggests a centralized, “hub and spoke system” that enacts vast improvements by establishing basic standards for the use of specific terminology and style for each target language. Each translation will then be performed by a highly qualified professional translator in constant consultation with the central office from each of the target countries. MultiLing has successfully implemented this model for numerous Fortune 500 companies, considerably increasing (by nearly double) the efficiency of patent activity overseas.

“Our approach not only reduces the risk of patent disputes and issues with the reviewer at the patent office due to incorrect translations, but also reduces the cost of ownership of the patent throughout the life of the patent. This is the new best business practice we are espousing for the IP industry as a whole”, said Michael during his presentation.

Hirohito Katsunuma, a Japanese patent attorney whose firm has partnered with MultiLing on this centralized translation process for more than a decade, discussed his experience with the “Patent Prosecution Highway” at the conference. The purpose of the PPH is to accelerate the processing of patent applications by comparing the use of previously filed work products. Katsunuma explained that “Japan’s JPO, Germany’s EPO, and the USA’s USPTO, the three largest international patent offices, and many other national offices participate in this process. It significantly increases the rate at which patent applications are granted internationally as well as in national markets.” Katsunuma suggested that a company implement the centralized translation process into its core operating plan to benefit from the “Patent Prosecution Highway” to the maximum possible extent.

The entire presentation and a short interview with Michael were recorded can be seen here.