Author Archives: MultiLing

MultiLing Sponsorship: IP World Summit, Amsterdam

IP World Summit MultiLing







At the Intellectual Property World Summit (September 25-27, 2017) you’ll find the tools you need to successfully navigate today’s increasingly complex and volatile market and MultiLing is proud to be a part of it.

So far this year, the UK has triggered Article 50, countries around Europe have ratified the UPS, businesses are challenging the status quo of most industries and the Chinese IP system continues to prove its seriousness. Now more than ever, IP leaders find themselves in a position where a rethink of global strategies is a must.

Learn from over 60 world class companies that have successfully executed on strategy and delivered substantial improvements.

Download the 2017 agenda to see when you can hear from 60+ expert speakers on the latest IP trends.

As proud sponsors of this event we are offering a 15% discount on your conference ticket. Simply use the promo code MLTNG15 when purchasing your pass here.

While you’re there, come find one of our European representatives, or contact us below to set up an appointment with one of our patent specialists!

Find MultiLing at IPO San Francisco

MultiLing’s sales and leadership teams are excited to attend this year’s IPO conference in San Francisco from Sept. 17-19.

Michael Sneddon MultiLing

Michael Sneddon

We invite you to find us in Booth 209, just past the event center doors. CEO Michael Sneddon will be attending the forums, and on-hand to meet with other attendees. To schedule a meeting with him during the show, please contact us before the event.

As always, there will be giveaways and an opportunity for informative conversations about patents, and how to make the most of your patent budget.

MultiLing is the premier, global provider of patent translation services and solutions, serving the world’s most sophisticated and demanding patent filers in over 200 unique language pairs. Founded 30 years ago, MultiLing’s coordinated network of 8 global offices, powered by a single, integrated cloud-based platform, delivers consistently outstanding quality and unrivaled responsiveness for our clients.

Contact us to set up an appointment to meet with one of our patent specialists!

Why “The Right Words Matter”

In The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain, the famous author is quoted as saying, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ‘tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” In life, we often experience negative consequences when we don’t choose our words carefully. Word choice in patent translation can make the difference between profit and litigation. To be enforceable and withstand prosecution, patent translation must be both technically and scientifically accurate and linguistically sound. Minor errors can affect the entire meaning and scope of a patent. In other words, “The Right Words Matter.”

Three elements are key to producing patent translation that is “right” the first time:

  • The right people – MultiLing’s screening and vetting process ensures that we have the experienced and highly educated linguists with appropriate subject matter expertise.
  • The right process – Since 1988, we have integrated industry-leading systems with technological innovation to create consistently applied processes across all of our offices, globally.
  • The right technology – MultiLing makes updated glossaries and translation memory immediately available to linguists, ensuring cumulative consistency and quality across all languages. A single, integrated, cloud-based platform connects each of our eight offices.

We help our clients build long-term value by improving the quality, consistency, and on-time delivery of their patent filings. When it comes to protecting your IP, MultiLing helps you with the right words, because – the right words matter.

Stop Making These Three Patent Filing Mistakes, Says Our Jeremy Coombs

In an article on today’s, senior VP of operations at MultiLing, Jeremy Coombs, outlined what he sees as the three biggest patent filing mistakes companies are making when drafting and filing their patent applications domestically and worldwide. While his suggestions on how to combat them won’t guarantee zero risk, they will decrease the chance of unnecessary litigation when patent filing and better prepare you to fight the litigation if it arises.

While the full article can be read at, here are some points that will paint the picture:

  1. Be aware of what’s on the market so you’ll be more aware of the uniqueness of your product.
  2. Make sure your original patent application is accurate and clear, which, according to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee, give patent owners “a clear notice of the boundaries of their patent rights.” It also helps ensure subsequent applications in other languages begin with accurate and clear content.
  3. Ensure your patent translation service providers employs true experts – in-country, native speakers intimately familiar with the cultural nuances critical to how words are used or phrased, as well as experts in the science of your invention and patent law in the countries in which you’re seeking protection.

Are you already doing the above, or have you suffered from mistakes you – or your company – have made when filing for patent protection? We’d love to speak with you about how MultiLing’s team of native linguists, scientists, engineers and legal specialists can help you decrease the risk of litigation.

Which technologies are critical for IP translations?

While machine translations continues to advance, it is never expected to be more than an aid for human translators conducting IP translations, according to an article Jeremy Coombs wrote for

In his article, Coombs outlines three technologies that are simplifying IP translations, especially patents: terminology management, translation memory and machine-assisted technologies. All play a critical role, but need to be used with human translators, who are more intimately familiar with the language, scientific and cultural nuances of a given language.

patent translation technologies

Which technologies are you using for IP translations?

Terminology management technology “is critical, since brands, technical terms and trade terms can rarely be translated literally, and each translator will make different interpretations and usually end up with different translations,” Coombs added.

Translation memory technology lets translators leverage previous translations in new projects. While this speeds the process and helps ensure accuracy, “it is still critical that humans review the final product because the context of the translation must still be determined.”

As for machine-assisted technologies, these train servers to contextually match terms for an initial translation, which must then be edited by a human translator. In addition to assisting human translators, they can also be used in e-discovery or prior art searches. But patent translations are far too important to leave entirely to a machine.

Before deciding on your IP translation provider, ensure they are using the most advanced translation technologies so you’ll benefit from fewer errors, lower costs and subsequently, faster time to grant.

Which other technologies are your service providers using?

For the full article, visit

China Leads Worldwide Patent Applications, WIPO Says

With the increasing demand for patent translations we’ve seen over the last few years, it’s no surprise that for the fifth consecutive year, patent applications continued to rise worldwide. According to the 2015 edition of the World Intellectual Property Indicators, there were 2.7 million applications in 2014, contributing to a 4.5 percent increase over 2013. Even less surprising is the fact that China accounted for nearly a third of the world’s patent applications during this time period.

In fact, China’s patent office received 928,177 filings, far more than the United States and Japan combined. However, applications from these two countries (as well as Germany) far outpaced Chinese applications in the number filed abroad – with only 36,700.

patent applications

Patent applications increased worldwide in 2014, with China leading the way.

“Demand for IP rights continued to grow around the globe in 2014,” WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said in a press release. “This underscores the central role that new technology and brand recognition play in determining success in today’s marketplace. It also highlights the important task that falls to IP offices in maintaining quality when examining IP applications.”

So why is China leading the pack? The Chinese government continues to provide financial incentives to support patent filings by Chinese entities, and foreign corporations continue to seek protection in China to decrease the risk of infringement by Chinese companies, MultiLing CEO Michael Sneddon wrote in an article for IP Watch earlier this year.

“As China is set to become the largest marketplace in the world, this only makes sense,” MultiLing CEO Michael Sneddon wrote earlier this year. “Patent rights can last for 20 years. While market trends will change dramatically over the next two decades, manufacturers don’t want to abandon China as a potential market for their core technologies.”

It will be interesting to see how the worldwide patent filings hold out over the next few years, especially in China. If you’re doing business in China, what are you seeing or predicting for the new year?

Japan, US Lead Patents, Innovations in High-Growth Tech, Says WIPR

Japan, the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea continue to drive innovations in three high-growth technologies: 3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics, according to the latest World Intellectual Property Report (WIPR). In fact, these six countries account for 75 percent of all-time patent filings in these industries, with China making significant headway.

The report also concluded that innovators in these six countries “overwhelmingly sought patent protection for their inventions in high-income countries plus China, reflecting the large size of these countries’ markets, as well as the presence of competitors with frontier technological capabilities.”

The report highlights case studies on these new innovations (ie 3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics) as well as historic ones such as airplanes, antibiotics and semiconductors, with history showing how these previous game-changing advancements sparked economic growth and new business activity.

According to WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, “Historical technological breakthroughs have been at the root of long-lasting expansions in economic output. Successful innovation, at the company level or across the wider economy, requires perseverance, particularly in periods of anemic growth when innovation budgets are under pressure. We need to reinforce the environments that give rise to the breakthrough technologies of tomorrow.”

patent innovations

This infographic from WIPO highlighs six transformative technologies and explores the role of IP in innovation.

Consider these findings related to the most recent transformative technologies:

  • Robotics: Companies in Japan are leading innovation in robotics, with eight out of the top ten patent applicants. These include Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Denso, Hitachi, Panasonic, Yaskawa, and Sony. The two others are Bosch, from Germany, and Samsung of the Republic of Korea.
  • Nanotechnology: Samsung of the Republic of Korea is the top filer for nanotechnology patents, but U.S. entities file collectively for most patents in this space. Six of the top ten filers are from Japan – Nippon Steel, Toshiba, Canon, Hitachi, Panasonic and TDK.  IBM, the University of California, and Hewlett Packard of the U.S. complete the top 10 list.
  • 3D printing:S. entities also file for the most 3D printing patents, with 3D Systems and Stratasys as the top two applicants and General Electric and United Technologies among the top ten.  Three German companies – Siemens, MTU Aero Engines and EOS – as well as three Japanese companies – Mitsubishi, Hitachi, and Toshiba – complete the top 10 list.

Interestingly, Chinese applicants account for more than a quarter of patents worldwide in the area of 3D printing and robotics, which is the highest share among all countries. In nanotechnology, applicants from China comprise close to 15 percent of filings worldwide, the third largest origin of patents.

Patent Quality Redefined: A “Clear” Focus in the US

Patent quality is extremely important, with even one misinterpreted word or phrase risking a potentially invalidated patent. Even worse, if that one word or phrase is then mistranslated into numerous languages, the IP could potentially be invalidated in every country in which protection is being sought. USPTO

What does patent quality really mean, though? For years, it’s been defined as the patent being “correct.” In November, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Michelle K. Lee outlined an Enhanced Patent Quality Initiative to extend the definition of quality to clarity within patents as well as correctness.

“Through correctness and clarity, such patents better enable potential users of patented technologies to make informed decisions on how to avoid infringement, whether to seek a license, and/or when to settle or litigate a patent dispute,” Lee wrote in her Nov. 6 blog. “Patent owners also benefit from having clear notice on the boundaries of their patent rights.“

The goals of the quality initiative include:

  • Building more confidence in the patent system by enhancing patent quality;
  • Making the system understandable and usable by all inventors; and
  • Ensuring each of our customers is treated fairly and professionally throughout the patent application process.

For MultiLing – as well as any company seeking patent protection in foreign countries requiring any degree of translations, ensuring all original source patents are both correct and clear will help keep translated patent applications correct and clear as well. Working with MultiLing to build a glossary of terms, similar to a style guide, will also help ensure the original document, and any translation, is correct and clear.

The USPTO is hosting a Patent Quality Chat from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET on the second Tuesday of each month to provide information on patent quality topic and gather input from interested parties. The next chat will be help January 12. For log-in details, visit


Is the European Unitary Patent Closer to Reality?

Support from European Union countries for the European Unitary Patent appears to be moving along nicely, with Italy most recently signing up. In his article on the topic on IPWatchdog, MultiLing CEO Michael Sneddon updated readers on the status of the new system, which if ratified, will put one patent in effect across all EU member states that participate. Companies seeking protection in these countries won’t have to validate the patent in each of the individual countries, as they have to now with the existing patent system. TopVisual_de

This fall, Italy became the 26th member of the 28-member EU to join in, which the head of the EPO says is a huge step forward. But it’s definitely not a sure things, with several hurdles still facing the new unitary patent before companies can expect to use it to protect their IP throughout the EU, including Spain and Croatia continuing to fight the system, a slow ratification process and the possibility of a Brexit, which means the UK (one of the biggest supporters of the UP) might possibly leave the EU. (Read more details about these issues in Sneddon’s article).

The biggest hurdle, however, could be whether companies will want to test their valuable IP with a completely new system, especially with one patent infringement suit possibly invalidating the patent throughout multiple countries instead of just one. What do you think? Will your company embrace the European Unitary Patent or wait until it’s well tested?

Patent Translation Isn’t Possible Without People—Invest In Them

B2C_LogoAt MultiLing, we frequently talk about the technology we use for patent translation and the efficiencies it brings. But the truth is, no matter how savvy the technology, we couldn’t translate without people. In his latest Business2Community column, MultiLing CEO Michael Sneddon highlights exactly this idea:

“While I previously wrote about the importance of building long-standing relationships with clients, equally important are the relationships developed between employee peers, employees and managers or executives, and executives and members of the board. These relationships are fundamental for the success of any organization,” writes Sneddon.

MultiLing executives took a trip last March and spent 10 days at four offices in Asia, with the goal of learning firsthand how each employee feels about the company. After meeting one-on-one with 83 of the company’s 90+ employees in Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan, they had a better understanding and common strategy for what needed to be done to help strengthen the company in the region. They also came away a feeling of mutual trust from each employee with whom we had met.

MultiLing_Michael_Sneddon“This type of interaction with company directors is not a cultural norm, but it definitely worked—and was obviously much appreciated. Nearly every employee opened up very quickly, creating a real sense of camaraderie and trust even in a short 10-15 minutes,” continues Sneddon. “They are now open and ready for additional training to help improve the company.”

This is only one example of the value that people—and their relationships—bring to an organization, and the importance of investing in those people along the way. However, if you don’t have the budget to travel or time to meet with every employee, Sneddon proposed other ideas as well. For example, getting to know employees can be as simple as using flashcards to help you learn and remember faces and names, job responsibilities and something personal about each employee.

Additionally, help employees get to know each other with team-building activities. Encourage and recognize employees in their activities outside of the office, whether that’s caring for family or volunteer work or hobbies. Finally, don’t be afraid to invest in employees with professional opportunities they are interested in—it will only give you a better employee!

You can read the full B2C article here.