Foreign Language Translation Services
and Patent Protection in the EU

Patent Translations into the Languages of the EU

We’ve blogged about legal translation services for complex patent cases and language translation in Chinese patent infringement actions. In both the US and European Union, to qualify for a patent the invention must be: new, capable of industrial application and represent an inventive step over what was previously known. But from this basic three-pronged approach the two laws differ significantly.

In the US a First to Invent system is used, while in the EU a First to File approach is utilized. In other words, in the US, an inventor’s priority over another inventor with a similar invention is established based on the date of the invention. In Europe, it is the date of the filing of the patent application that is determinative of priority.

Another key point is that no EU-wide patent is available, which means that in order to be protected throughout the European Union one must apply for patent protection in accordance to the laws of each member state. With the many languages operating in the EU, this means that foreign language translations are essential as each patent application must be filed in the language of the jurisdiction.

Up Next: Legal Translation and Insurance when Doing Business in a Foreign Country