On March 1, the European Patent Office (EPO) launched a patent translation tool on its website that enables patentees to read EPO-registered patents in seven different languages. Patent information “can now be translated into English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Swedish via a 'patent translate' tool” from Google, notes www.out-law.com, which publishes legal news and guidance from the law firm of Pinsent Mason.
The EPO said that it had provided Google with "several hundred thousand high quality translations of patents" in the seven languages which Google had used to "train" its translate system. Benoît Battistelli, EPO president, hailed the launch of the new service as a "landmark" in removing language barriers from patent documents.
"Patent translation enables businesses and innovators to identify relevant patent documents and to translate them in their own language," Battistelli added. The EPO also plans to work further with Google to allow translation into all EU languages, as well as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian by the end of 2014.