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WIPO: new twist for patents with a free translation device
24 juillet 2018

It is a turning point for intellectual property and more exactly for patent documents.  Indeed, between the 23rd and 25th of May 2018, The Republic of Korea signed a memorandum of understanding for the latest innovation proposed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The latter is a worldwide, self-funding agency of the United Nations, which oversees/is in charge of services, policies, information and cooperation regarding to intellectual property.

The “Meeting of Intellectual Property Offices on ICT Strategies and Artificial Intelligence for IP Administration” took place after WIPO created “WIPO Translate”: a system which translates patent documents instantly. WIPO Director, Francis Gurry, said this device would translate highly technical patent documents in another language and obtain a translation which respects style and syntax, “that more closely mirrors common usage”. He explained that the process is a much more powerful tool than traditional translation tools based on the translation of sentence « segments ». But how does it work?

An artificial intelligence-based system

It is a neural machine translation, which is based on tremendous network models, that acquires knowledge from previously translated sentences. The more patent documents are translated, the more it will gain data and tools to translate in a better way. WIPO Translate is converting patent documents according to the specific field of it: 32 technical domains from the International Patent Classification are covered.

From where does it take out the data? There are several databases in the world. These are unrestricted access registers, which are free digitalized documents about intellectual property, containing information about inventions and technical developments. There are for example ESPACENET (European), USPTO (American), SIPO (Chinese), etc. and there is PATENTSCOPE which is worldwide. The latter is gathering a tremendous amount of documents: 70 million records.

South Korea : the first country to adopt WIPO translate

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) will thus embed this system into its own departments: patent filing and examination processes. South Korea is the first country in the world, out of 191-member states of WIPO (thus of the United Nations), to integrate this new system in its services. It will maybe influence other countries to incorporate it and benefit the database of WIPO Translate.

It could possibly benefit the inventors and the research, in the sense, that they don’t need to pay a translation of a patent document anymore, which is a huge cost. Furthermore, it could stimulate and push forward the innovation and the progress in a myriad of sectors. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if other countries will take the lead and if the WIPO Translate system will transform the worldwide system of patents.

For any advice regarding your patents registration or intellectual property, Mathias Avocats remains at your disposal.