Foreign Language Translations, Patent Translations, Patent Translators and Patent Law

Earlier we’ve blogged about the importance of professional document translation services and patent translation services for patent and trademark attorneys.  As a general rule, every article submitted to the Patent Office should contain a full foreign language translation. According to the case Atofina v. Great Lakes Chemical Corp, (Fed. Cir. 2006), the failure to submit a full translation of a prior article reference did not satisfy the intent requirement of inequitable conduct.


In the cited case, Plaintiff submitted a partial foreign language translation of the Japanese language reference JP 51-82206 to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office – even though the office already had a full translation on hand.

The court later ruled that plaintiff’s failure to submit a full translation was an act of inequitable conduct and thus had the requisite intent to deceive the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The decision was upheld on appeal.

Thus, the rule to be taken away is that partial foreign language translations of a document are not sufficient – even when only part of the document is relevant.

To read our legal translation blog post “Language Translations for Patent and Trademark Lawyers, and Registering a Foreign Language Trademark”, click here.

Up Next: Professional Corporate Translation for In-House Law Departments and Law Firms, and Communication with Offshore Vendors