Voltaire had it right when he said: “Woe to the makers
of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning.” Was he foreseeing the unfortunate results of feeding a Japanese specification
through Google Translate? Probably not, but he had a point nonetheless.
|"Shoes not allowed" - Michael Cornelius|
On one interpretation this could mean "up to 10%, more preferably 0.1% to 8%," teaching away from any values higher than 10%. On another interpretation (which is perhaps not convincing when the sentence is read in isolation, but is more plausible when read in context as the decision explains) this could mean 10% of one surfactant component plus 0.1% to 8% of another surfactant, i.e. giving a total of up to 18%, i.e. within the claimed range."The amount of the surface-active agent used besides the above of below 10 mass % is 0.1 to 8 mass % still more preferably preferably among the oils of this invention." [sic]
4.8 Remittal to the examining division
4.8.1 Since it appears that the assessment of inventive step hinges to a great extent on the true disclosure of D1 in terms of surfactant contents and the corresponding effects, a definitive conclusion regarding the issue of inventive step in the light of D1 cannot be reached based on the machine translation thereof, which appears to be unclear and/or ambiguous in several relevant aspects.
There then immediately followed the operative part of the decision:4.8.2 Therefore, the board considered it appropriate to remit the case to the examining division for re-consideration of the issue of inventive step in the light of a certified translation of D1.
For these reasons it is decided that:
1. The decision under appeal is set aside.
Insofar as it goes, the decision is sensible. To evaluate a prior art document, one must rely on the content of that document or, as in some older cases, a prior published English abstract. If the content of the document cannot be unambiguously established but it appears relevant then it makes sense to establish that content definitively before proceeding further.2. The case is remitted to the examining division for further examination of inventive step based on the claims 1 to 4 according to the request submitted during oral proceedings and on a certified translation of document D1.
|"Unrecycling" - Drakhrub|
Merpel says maybe there's another way of figuring out what the Board intended. If machine translations can turn a meaningful text into an ambiguous one, might the program not sometimes translate ambiguity into clarity? It may be worth putting the final paragraphs of this Decision through Google Translate to see if any answer emerges as to who will fund the missing translation.