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Internet-based patent translation goes online

By Zhang Zhao | China Daily | Updated: 2015-04-29 07:20

After a year's effort, the first Internet-based patent translation platform in China went online on April 24.

Developed by the Intellectual Property Publishing House, a publisher administrated by the State Intellectual Property Office, helps translators and companies that need patent translations link with each other.

Hu Xinhua, director of the publisher's translation business section, said at the unveiling ceremony in Beijing that the service is an answer to the concept of "Internet Plus", the latest national action plan that calls for integration of Internet technologies and traditional industries.

"By developing the platform, we are attempting to combine our advantages and resources in the publishing and patent translation businesses with the Internet," he said.

Li Cheng, deputy head of the company, said that with increasingly intense international competition, Chinese companies need to "develop their IP strategies to control risks, and at the same time introduce high-quality IPs from around the world", and patent translation is a key factor in that process.

"The quality of patent translation is closely related to the quality of a patent," Li said. "One wrong word in the translation can lead to changes in the protection range of a patent."

The platform allows companies to issue patent documents to be translated online.

From college students and graduates to retired professionals, anyone can register as a full-time or part-time translator for free.

After they pass an online translation skills test, they can translate the patent documents that interest them or for which they have expertise, and get paid for their work each month.

Li said many companies, law firms, government agencies and individuals have participated in the business, but some are unqualified.

Based on its many years of patent translation expertise, the publisher developed a machine translation engine in 2000. With its help, the platform boasts a database of 14 million English-Chinese technical terms in 12 different industries, as well as 30 million fixed phrases and expressions.

A translator can work by simply editing the result of the machine translation, or choose to translate documents manually, with hints of possible terminology and fixed phrases popping up as he or she types, making it unnecessary to look up every term in the dictionary.

The translator can also submit the completed work sentence by sentence rather than after the entire document is finished, so that final stage revisers can theoretically work simultaneously to greatly increase efficiency.

"New technologies like big data can solve the problem of word-for-word translation, but translators have higher requirements about logic," said Zhuang Yifang, a partner in Beijing Hande Intellectual Property Firm, at a seminar focusing on the patent translation business in the age of the Internet.

The platform includes translator development and quality supervision mechanisms.

A newly registered translator can gain experience credits as he or she works. Senior translators can take on more challenging work for higher wages.

An expert panel supervises the quality of all the translated works. Translators will receive a warning or lose credits if the panel rules their work to be of poor quality.

The platform also offers education and training resources such as translation skills and how to search patent information.

Li said the company would build online communities in the future for translators registered on the platform to share their experience and expertise.



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