Every 26 April, World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated to highlight the importance of intellectual property rights and show how small and medium-sized enterprises can utilize them to foster innovation and creativity. In that sense, results could be highly beneficial, as they would help build stronger, more competitive and resilient businesses.
What Are Intellectual Property Rights?
Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, names and images used in commerce; thus, it is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they have invented or created.
IP rights are commonly divided into two main areas:
- Copyright and rights related to copyright
Authors’ rights of literary and artistic works -such as books and other writings, musical compositions, paintings, sculpture, computer programs and films- are protected by copyright, for a minimum period of 50 years after the death of the author.
Also, performers -actors, singers and musicians-, producers of phonograms -sound recordings- and broadcasting organizations are protected by copyright and related rights.
- Industrial property
Industrial property can be divided into two main areas:
One of them can be characterized as the protection of distinctive signs, in particular trademarks -which distinguish the goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings- and geographical indications -which identify a good as originating in a place where a given characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographical origin-.
The protection of such distinctive signs aims to stimulate and ensure fair competition and protect consumers, enabling them to make informed choices between various goods and services. Also, as long as the sign in question continues to be distinctive, it may last indefinitely.
Other types of industrial property are protected primarily to stimulate innovation, design and technology creation. In this category, we can find inventions (protected by patents), industrial designs and trade secrets.
Why Are Patent Translation Services Necessary?
Moving forward, let us expound on a very much debated theme within the translation field: patents. As mentioned before, a patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. In other words, it is a legal instrument that gives the patent holder exclusive rights for making, selling, or offering to sell the subject matter that the patent “claims.”
By rewarding ideas, patents encourage the development of innovations and new technologies in every field. They are not just abstract concepts; they play an invaluable and practical role in everyday life. For instance, traditional patents protect tangible scientific inventions, such as circuit boards, car engines, heating coils, or zippers. However, over time patents have been used to protect a broader variety of inventions such as coding algorithms, business practices, or genetically modified organisms.
But what does this have to do with translation services? When applying to international offices for a patent, a translation into a language other than that of the original document will always be required and that is why it is so crucial to rely on a trustworthy language services provider that helps you during the process.
For translators, from a linguistic point of view, a patent specification is a trans-behavioral text with a binding argumentative and persuasive function. This implies that the justifications or reasons given by the applicant for convincing the competent authority that their patent is unique and deserves to be recognized as such are set out coherently and logically.
The approval of the patent depends on the clarity, precision and relevance of these arguments, and therefore its binding nature. Hence, the main challenge of translating patents lies in the great abundance of scientific and technical terminology due to their multidisciplinary nature.
The documentation that the translator must consult to verify whether the arguments, reasons and justifications are appropriate for the registration of the patent will be huge. Moreover, very often the translator will have to rely on other related patents to ascertain whether the specifications do make it unique.
In Win & Winnow, we adapt to our customers and provide the full range of patent translation services, which include translating claims, a description or drawings, prior art, or simply legal matters in a patent dispute. Also, we handle renewals, validations, applications and specifications, and work in partnership with patent attorneys, IP formalities professionals and law firms. Last but not least, we have a team of translators with in-depth expertise ready to carry out each project with accuracy, confidentiality and reliability. Contact us!