With IP budgets experiencing significant cutbacks in the last year, many applicants have struggled to maintain the same level of global protection they were able to achieve in “fatter” times. As a result, many applicants must grudgingly reduce the number of countries selected for national stage entry for their PCT applications.
In many countries, translation of the PCT application is a major component of the cost for national stage entry. As such, translation costs certainly play a key role when applicants decide where to seek patent protection.
Aside from outsourcing your translation work, another tip for stretching your IP budget is to file in countries which use the same translation. For example (assuming an English specification), the translation into Spanish required to enter into Mexico can also be used for entry into Colombia and other Spanish-speaking South and Latin American countries.
Similarly, a Chinese translation prepared for use with a Taiwanese filing can often be used as a basis for the translation needed for China (though note that Taiwan is not a PCT country, so the translation would have been prepared earlier for direct filing there, often at the same time the PCT was lodged).
Given that translation costs can run into the thousands of dollars, applicants exercising this strategy can realize significant savings, albeit in narrow country combinations. Especially in today’s economic climate, every little bit counts!