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Japanese Patent Translation
Our strength lies in our ability to provide high-quality Japanese-to-English translation of patent specifications, both for filing outside Japan and for other uses, and we have an established track record in a broad range of fields of art that demonstrates our capabilities.
Documents We Handle
We handle not just patent specifications, but virtually any document related to the patent prosecution process and patent litigation, a partial list being as follows.
Fields of Art We Handle
We have translation experience in a wide range of fields, just some of which are indicated below. Among the fields listed below, in which we have a translation track record, we additionally have direct industry and research experience in the fields marked .
Every Japanese patent translation assignment we accept is subjected to a process we have developed over the years for providing high-quality patent translation.
Initial Readthrough. Our initial readthrough of Japanese patent documents we are asked to translate is basically to identify problems at an early stage that could arise during the actual translation process.
Verification of Bibliographic Information and Acquisition of Reference Materials. Bibliographic information allows us to research and identify relevant reference materials. Naturally, receiving such reference material from our clients is very helpful, but given the bibliographical information, we can usually find the following type of information on our own.
- Existing US patents with similar subject matter that have been granted to the same inventors (often very helpful in identifying terminology already established and recognized in the field of art of the patent being translated)
- Non-patent publications by the same inventors.
- Other literature in the field of art of the patent.
Establishment of Terminology to Be Used. Terminology we used needs to be both consistent within the Japanese patent document being translated and consistent with terminology conventionally used in the field of the art of the patent document being translated. To that end, we create job-specific glossaries for every assignment we accept, these glossaries including the following elements.
- Terminology not necessarily unique to the field of art of the document, but identified as customarily used by the same inventors in other patent applications.
- Correct renderings of all inventor names and the Japanese applicant name (available to us through our access of Japanese-only databases)
When necessary, the glossaries created also include notes on terminology to aid the patent translator. These glossaries are maintained by us indefinitely, and serve as a basis for future assignments.
Translation. Once the above preparatory steps have been completed, the translation process itself begins. Unlike some of the mass-production translation providers, we never need to look for a heretofore unknown translator in a Third World venue to do your translations. Translations are only entrusted to known staff members who both understand the subject matter of the patent document and have years of experience in the patent translation field.
Questions. During the translation process, questions might arise. Depending upon whether the translation is for filing or for other purposes, these will best be handled by the inventor or drafter of the patent (in the former case) or the entity originally commissioning the translation (in the case of US law firm clients commissioning translations). The fact that questions are asked should be understood as an indication that the translator realizes the importance of not speculating when correct information is close at hand.
We can provide certified translations for prosecution or litigation. With regard to translations we have executed, we can provide a written certification of a translation, signed by the responsible translator, something that some other translation providers avoid by having someone else—often not a translator—sign such a letter.
As an additional service, given the original Japanese, we can bring translations done by other translation providers up to a level at which we could certify them. You should be aware however that, depending upon the quality of the original translation, the cost involved could be close to or the same as the cost of having a proper translation done from the start.
Things That We Both Do and Do Not Do Set Us Apart
Naturally, as Japanese patent translation boutique, we are committed to providing you with the highest possible quality. But there are a number of things that we promise we will not be doing when you issue an order for translation. These things distinguish us from the mass-production translation brokers that seem committed to volume over quality.
- We will not accept an assignment unless we have the in-house capability of assuring the quality before we send you the translation. Ethics prevent us from doing anything less.
- We will not (and need not) scramble to the Internet in search of translators when we receive an assignment. Such behavior is characteristic of mass-production translation brokers with very little or no in-house capability. That such efforts often lead your documents to Third-World venues demonstrates a lack of prudence, lack of understanding of the translation process, and a mistaken view of translation as a commodity. Surely your documents deserve better treatment.
- We will not accept a job without knowing who will be doing the translation beforehand. In the world of translation providers, this is a promise that very few companies can fulfill. Even the rare companies that have in-house Japanese translation capability rarely have the capability to do any significant portion of their work in-house, and are forced to subcontract almost all the work they do, sometimes to other companies that again subcontract the work. This subcontracting spiral often leads to an unknown translator in an unknown venue. Often the only person who knows the identity and location of the translator doing your work is the final subcontractor, and then only after the translator is found for your job.
When requested as part of an investigation of prior art (e.g., at the behest of a US law firm), we can often easily obtain documents that are referenced in US prosecution but that are difficult to obtain from the US. One example is the case in which a subsequent application in Japan calling on a previous filing as priority is filed before the previous application is laid open. In such cases, although the data from the original filing (which is treated as having been withdrawn) is not available on the JPO website, we can usually obtain the original application by simply visiting the JPO directly, taking advantage of our location in Japan. If you are faced with such problems or other problems in obtaining Japanese documents, feel free to contact us for assistance.