China: Patent Translation System

May 10, 2019

Patents are usually easily findable documents. However, reading a patent once found is a challenge. Up the ante if the patent is in a language the person does not read. “AI Used to Translate Patent Documents” provides some information about a new system available from the Intellectual Property Publishing House. According to the article in China Daily:

The system can translate Chinese into English, Japanese and German and vice versa. Its accuracy in two-way translation between Chinese and Japanese has reached 95 percent, far more than the current industry average, and the rest has topped 90 percent…

The system uses a dictionary, natural language processing algorithms, and a computational model. In short, this is a collection of widely used methods tuned over a decade by the Chinese organization. In that span, Thomson Reuters dropped out of the patent game, and just finding patents, even in the US, can be a daunting task.

Translation has been an even more difficult task for some lawyers, researchers, analysts, and academics.

If the information in the China Daily article is accurate, China may have an intellectual property advantage., The write up offers some details, which sound interesting; for example:

  • Translation of a Japanese document: five seconds
  • Patent documents record 90 percent of a country’s technology and innovation
  • China has “a huge database of global patents”.

And the other 10 percent? Maybe other methods are employed.

Stephen E Arnold, May 10, 2019

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