Between 2006 and 2016, the number of Chinese patent applications increased from 0.890 million to 2.019 million. According to the WIPO’s World Intellectual Property (IP) Indicators report for 2017, this influx of innovation from China continued to grow as the Chinese IP office (SIPO) was listed as the top office in the world, preceding the United States of America, Japan, Republic of Korea and the European Patent Office (EPO). A further 1.5 million patent applications were filed in China in 2018 alone. With the growth in Chinese patent applications showing no signs of slowing, this has created many challenges within the industry.
Firstly, it is more important than ever to be able to provide large amounts of information quickly and reliably, and to rely on high-quality machine translations. Since the end of 2017, Minesoft has been using new self-learning systems for machine translations in cooperation with our partner RWS. This “Neural MT Framework” captures the meaning of the text instead of recognising only consecutive words in a sentence. As a result, the translations are timely and of ever-improving quality.
In addition, using RWS’s worldwide expertise in the field of scientific and patent documents, we have accurately translated the names of patent assignees from non-Latin languages. Recently, the number of manually translated Chinese patent assignee names has been doubled to 40,000, this has been applied to all historic data and is automatically applied to any new data we receive.
The large number of patent applications coming from China is also a symptom of the increasing interest in international patent information there. From the outset, Minesoft has focussed not only the scope and quality of coverage within our online patent solutions, but also its accessibility. Hence, since 2013, we have provided a full Chinese interface for PatBase and PatBase Express, to improve the search experience for Chinese users. This, combined with our high-quality machine translations, has made Chinese patent information more readily available worldwide.
Minesoft and RWS have now started adding legal status data directly from SIPO (China Intellectual Property Office) to our suite of online patent software solutions. This will complement the already comprehensive legal data in our solutions, which at the time of writing (June 2019) includes EPO, USPTO, JPO, DPMA, INPI.