“One mistranslated word on a patent can result in millions of dollars in lost revenue for a single enterprise” writes Lyle Ball, Chief Operating Officer for MultiLing in a recent article on www.intellectualpropertymagazin.com. As an example, Lyle refers to a German pesticide company, which applied for a patent in the US but instead missed out on a good chunk of the $10bn pesticide market when its English translator incorrectly translated the German word “schnecke” (meaning snail and slug in German) into just “snail” in English. Unfortunately, the primary target for this pesticide happened to be slugs, more than snails, causing the company to lose patent protection (another company picked up the patent for slugs) and revenue in the US market.
“Most enterprises – no matter their size – do not have the internal teams of specialised translators to do this work in house, nor the desire to hire and manage decentralised freelancers or translation service providers on their own. Again, many aren’t willing to right-size their patent translation budgets until they experience one or more of the ramifications listed above”, says Lyle. A case study of MultiLing’s client Yohama Rubber, a nearly 100-year-old tyre company based in Tokyo, Japan, shows how centralized translation processes help to improve patent translation quality, reduce costs and significantly speed up processes.
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