Monitoring Patent Costs: Translations

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In this installment of our Monitoring Patent Costs series, Ill be discussing translation costs that occur at the PCT national stage. When you’re filing internationally, many patent offices require translation of your application (presumably in English) into their official language. Many applicants fail to factor this requirement into their IP strategy, creating problems both in terms of money and time. By being aware of translation requirements and costs before your deadlines, you’ll be able to save yourself a good deal of headache and cash.

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Rather than going through each country’s translation requirements, I recommend downloading a copy of our PCT filing e-kit. This kit is free, and contains a PCT National Phase Entry Guide which provides filing information for each jurisdiction we offer, including specific translation requirements.

Translations are typically billed at a per-word rate. Items in the application, such as diagrams, chemical formulas and sequence listings will also affect the translation costs. As a general rule, assume that translators can translate approximately 1000 words a day. Here at inovia, we recommend providing your filing instructions 4 weeks prior to the filing deadline to ensure sufficient time to prepare translations. As you get closer to the filing deadline, additional costs such as extension fees and rush charges can be added to your translation fees. Extension fees for submitting a translation late are usually around US$50-100. The availability of translation extensions are also detailed in our PCT National Phase Filing Guide.

A few country-specific tips to keep in mind:

  • Europe: When filing into Europe, you actually do not need to translate your application. English, along with French and German, is an official language of the European Patent Office.
  • Brazil: Brazil requires the translation of the claims into Portuguese at the time of filing. However, the remainder of the application can be submitted later upon payment of an extension fee. Keep in mind that if instructions are provided too close to the filing deadline, rush surcharges are usually added for the translation of the claims.
  • Japan: Japan requires the application to be translated into Japanese. The good news is that the translation can be filed up to 2 months after the national stage filing. Even better, the 2-month extension is free!
  • South Korea: The national stage filing for South Korea is 31 months after the priority date. The translation is due at the time of filing, and remember that there is no provision for submitting the translation later.

Have other specific questions about patent translations and costs? Our PCT e-kit should answer most of your questions but if not, feel free to contact us at mail@inovia.com.