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Thursday, 3 July 2008

PCT applications searchable in Japanese, thanks to the Spanish

Today's the day that, in the words of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

"... the wealth of technological information contained in international patent applications, a prime vector for technology transfer and innovation promotion, will also be searchable in Japanese".
This follows recent improvements made to WIPO's Patentscope® online search service which will give access to over 1.4 million Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications. This makes Japanese the sixth language in which full-text data search is possible, following English, French, German, Spanish and Russian. Since 16% of PCT applications filed in the past four years are in Japanese, this will make things a good deal easier for searchers -- even though a considerable amount of technological content in Japanese PCT applications is likely be found in other languages at one stage or another. WIPO's press release adds that

"The Japanese text data includes descriptions and claims of published PCT international applications filed electronically in Japanese and published on or after July 3rd, 2008. It further includes all the titles and the bulk of abstracts of international applications published since 2004. The Japanese text data will also be available on a weekly basis to all patent offices and companies that have subscribed to the FTP data delivery service.

The Patentscope® search service interface has also been enhanced thanks to fruitful collaboration with Spanish-language patent offices that aim to provide additional patent data in that language. As a consequence the Patentscope® search service interface is now available in English, French and Spanish. Web pages available in Spanish include the search interface, search results and all supporting web pages including on-line help and related pages... "

Congratulating WIPO, the IPKat welcomes this development and hopes that Japanese will be followed by other major languages in the future. Merpel says, it doesn't really matter what language they're in -- most of us can't understand them anyway!

More on Patentscope here
The PCT here
Another PCT online here

1 comment:

Mike O'Keeffe said...

This is a truly welcome development. Until now in the 18 months OPI to Republication or examined time period the only way to search these patent was by relying on the English abstract which WIPO prepares. Now these abstracts are better than what JAPIO does for the near 400,000 patents filed via the JPO, but still leave a lot to be desired. I had occasion to look at the quality of WIPO abstracts (I am a Japanese Patent Translator) and found that of of 200 published on the same day, 10% had material translation errors and 48% were 'hard to understand', (i.e. poor expression. The same problems exist on other publication dates (I have a list of common errors) in Japanese, Korean and Chinese abstracts.Serious patent searchers should not rely on WIPO or JAPIO abstracts. Either use WPI or have a competent person search the Japanese.

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