A question from a patent outsider: is there any point in the patent process in which a patent might be translated (by a human, not automatically)? I am looking for patents in multiple languages to make a multilingual corpus (for NLP research). Do you know if a similar corpus is available or where one could get useful data in this direction? In none of that is available, is there a way to retrieve patents for the same invention in different languages, even if their text is not a direct translation?
There are some sources you could use for that corpus:
- Different members of a same patent family: Sometimes an invention is to be protected in multiple jurisdictions, each of which has particular language requirements. If, for instance, the patent family has a US patent application, a French patent application, a Chinese patent application, etc. you can take all their publications for the corpus. Sometimes there are differences between the descriptions/claims of the different family members, so care must be taken in this regard. For the most part, these translations are prepared by skilled translators.
- Translations required for the validation of European patents: Some states of the European Patent Convention require the translation of the claims and/or description of a European patent into one of its official languages, e.g. Czech, Danish, etc. These are supposed to be verbatim translations, and are typically prepared by skilled translators. The European patent will be in English, French or German. And European patents publish the claims in all three official languages: English, French and German, which are typically prepared by skilled translators as well.
- Priority translations: Sometimes, but not very often, patent offices request the translation of a priority application into one of its official languages. Said translation is available through the public register of the patent office, and as far as I know, no OCR version is available. Although a verbatim translation, it could be a machine translation.