WIPO’s New AI Translation Tool Fosters Access to Information on Patented Inventions

In a pioneering step towards facilitation of access to information on patented inventions, WIPO has developed a breakthrough tool, based on artificial intelligence, for instant high quality translation of patent documents. This tool, called WIPO Translate, can be used free of charge and is available through the WIPO’s PatentScope database that contains PCT applications as well as patent documents of participating national and regional patent offices.

As we know, one of the objectives of granting patents is disclosure of inventions and dissemination of knowledge to the public. The language of a patent document often acts as a hurdle in the universal achievement of this objective as the document can be easily accessed only by those who are proficient in the language of the document. WIPO Translate aims to remove this barrier to access to patent information by enabling free and instant translation of patent documents into a second language in a more common style and syntax. Initially, given the rapid increase in the number of applications being filed in East Asian languages, the tool provided for translation of only Chinese, Japanese and Korean patent documents into English. However, now the service seems to have been extended to translation in about sixteen language pairs and extension to a few more is in the pipeline.

Although this is not the first automated patent document translation service, the accuracy and quality of the translation produced by it, is believed by WIPO, to be substantially higher than that produced by its previous statistical-based service as well as other non-WIPO services. This is attributed to the use of emerging neural machine translation technology that is based upon “huge neural network models that “learn” from previously translated sentences”.

This wonderful AI translation tool developed by WIPO would go a long way in ensuring easy and wider access to knowledge on inventions patented worldwide. It would foster transparency in the patent system, something that has been the credo of this blog.

Thanks to Shashwat Purohit for bringing this development to our attention!

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