The Court of First Instance gave judgment yesterday in Case T-8/03 El Corte Inglés v OHIM - Pucci (EMILIO PUCCI). It is available in a number of languages including Latvian, Lithuanian and Slovak -- but not English.

The IPKat wonders why the European Commission spends his hard-earned money on a variety of causes all over the world, but won't provide enough cash for immediate translation of cases involving EU law into the world's most widely-used language in intellectual property circles. Who, he wants to know, is the person responsible for the translation of ECJ and CFI cases? What is the basis of current translation policy? Does it have any official sanction? How are English-speaking lawyers expected to compete in the provision of legal advice, with lawyers from France, Germany and other countries in the lucrative market for intellectual property services when the others can rely on official texts and translations but English-speakers must make to with unofficial translations? Why is this state of affairs being allowed to continue? How much would it cost to provide timely translation of ECJ and CFI decisions in all main EU languages? What is the Department of Trade and Industry in the UK doing about it? Why is no-one else shouting?

Merpel says "I agree".
IPKAT RANT: THE LANGUAGE ISSUE (AGAIN) IPKAT RANT: THE LANGUAGE ISSUE (AGAIN) Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, December 14, 2004 Rating: 5


Anonymous said...

The language department one of the largest and most expensive department in the EU. The cost of translating every doc into all official languages is higher than anticipated, figuring that all versions then would be "official" and must be consistent and accurate.

also this can be viewed as a handicap, levelling the playing field, and enabling lawyers from smaller countries to participate in the lucrative IP legal field.

Jeremy said...

Whoever posted the earlier comment must be an EU bureaucrat.

Sure, translation is expensive -- but does the amount of money spent on translation of EU trade mark cases come close to the huge sums of money are spent by businesses in registering, opposing and generally litigating trade marks? Much of this spend may be unproductive if businesses don't know what the law is in the first place.

The point about levelling the playing field for the provision of legal services is also completely without merit. It's not just English-speakers who suffer, but lawyers (and therefore their clients) from many other countries too. With respect, the only proper way to produce fair competition between providers of legal service is to enable them all to have equal access to the authentic texts of the case law of the European Union.

Anonymous said...

I read those comments very carefully. I dont understand the argument that translation is very expensive.
Primo: Where is the idea about equality. What about equale acces to the information? What about so called "Informational society"?
Secundo: This is a duty of the translation unit to bring those text at time. They are paid for it.
Have a nice day

Jeremy said...

I have received a note from Aaron Wood (Trade Mark Assistant, Hammonds), who tells me that he once offered to translate IP cases for free but received no response.

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