01 March 2012
Yesterday was D-day for the EPO’s latest patent information service – Patent Translate. When we signed our machine-translation (MT) partnership with Google less than a year ago, we were all eager to see the project come to fruition as soon as possible, and our teams have worked very hard since then to achieve that. So I was very pleased to be in Brussels, with our partner Google, to announce the launch of our joint patent MT service which already offers six language pairs (from and into English for French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish).
The basis of our agreement with Google is quite simple: we provide the technical text corpora, ready for use, in the various languages, and Google then uses them to “train” its MT technology. The more complete and precise the documentation, the better the translation. Our partnership is a technological one, aimed at providing the public with easy access, free of charge, to MT services across a wide range of languages. The EPO has also been able to take on this role because of the patent-information expertise we have built up over the years, and the close and co-operative relationships we have forged with the national offices of our member states and many other countries worldwide.
Patent Translate produces impressive results. It is a very effective, practical and user-friendly information tool. You can simultaneously compare the original text with the translations in different languages, and get an understanding of the invention described in the patent. But this is just the beginning: we will not only continuously update the corpora for the six pairs already available, but by the end of 2014 will also gradually extend coverage to all 28 languages of the EPO member states, plus Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian.
The EPO’s Espacenet website is already visited every day by 25 000 users, who conduct 1.5 million sessions a month. I have no doubt that our new MT service will be avidly used by the scientific and business communities, further boosting these numbers.
Categories: The EPO
Tags: co-operation EPO, cooperation EPO, cooperation google, documentation, EPO, Espacenet, European Patent Office, Google, google translation, machine-translation, MT technology, patent, patent translate, patent translation, technical text