«Printed by Jouve» it’s not

If there ever was a first world problem, then this is it. But whenever (okay, not every single time) I walk to the printer in our office and pick up a freshly printed European patent application or European patent, I read the line at the very bottom of the first page which reads “Printed by Jouve, 75001 PARIS (FR)”, and I think “no, it isn’t. It’s printed by my Cannon makeupsomenumber in Zurich, Switzerland. I wish I was in Paris”. Why does it say “Printed by Jouve” on every single European patent (application)?

Jouve is a group of companies headquartered in Paris providing, in their own words, “customers with cross-media solutions for designing, enriching, showcasing and distributing content”, whatever that means. Those services include on-demand printing and web-to-print services. I would assume that Jouve has some kind of contract with the European Patent Office. However, are they printing anything for the EPO, much less patents and patent applications?

Solving another first world problem (Fig. 1 from EP 3 047 756 B1)
Since 1 April 2005, European patents and patent applications are published electronically, the printed publication was ceased on that day. Until 1 January 2014, it remained possible, on request, to be sent a (printed) copy of the patent specification together with the certificate for a European patent. As of 1 January 2014, this option was also ceased, because it was hardly ever used. It remains possible to obtain certified copies of the certificate with the specification annexed upon request and payment of an administrative fee. I would assume these are printed on the printers on location at the EPO’s offices in Munich or The Hague, and not by Jouve.

So, I just cannot fathom what Jouve is printing in Paris. Yet, even on the most recent applications published – such as EP 3 143 898 A2 “Anti-theft carrying bag with security and expansion panels and with carrying strap” (112 pages, no less) – or granted patents such as EP 3 047 756 B1 “Mobile beach basket” read “Printed by Jouve, 75001 PARIS (FR)” on the first page. If any reader has an answer to this riddle, please put it in the comments.
«Printed by Jouve» it’s not «Printed by Jouve» it’s not Reviewed by Mark Schweizer on Thursday, March 23, 2017 Rating: 5


  1. I imagine that Jouve still do the typesetting - OCR'ing the scanned specification pages (yes even if you printed them nicely to pdf) and turning them into the published spec.

  2. Who translated "Strandkorb" as "beach basket"? Google?

  3. Ha ha... beach basket! Incompetence is always better when humour is produced as a bi-product! I'll buy one to cover my head next summer :)

  4. Printed by Jouve? By Jove!

  5. to the first anonymous: Should it then not read "Typeset by Jouve"?

    Google translate indeed translates "Strandkorb" to "beach basket"... dictionaries suggest it should be "beach chair". The published patent uses "beach basket".

    To the anonymous at 12:07 - you should be writing the headlines!

  6. I wonder how many readers grasp what a "Strandkorb" means to a German speaker? I mean, the ubiquitous North Sea and Baltic Sea beach accommodation for two people, sitting side by side.

    Here you go:


    Now, is that a beach chair or a beach basket, or neither? How many couples do you know, who sit side by side on a chair?

  7. It's also curious that the statement is in English, despite it being a French company providing services to an organisation with three official languages of (on paper) equal status.

  8. Max, I think Mark's included link to fig. 1 of the patent tells us what the invention should look like, A chair for two is still a chair.

  9. The Oxford-Duden Pictorial English-German Dictionary" translates "Strandkorb" as "roofed wicker basket beach chair", and its illustration seems to show a one-person version. The corresponding French-English edition gives the French translation as "L'abri de plage en osier", so it is hardly an obscure term. Even my paperback "Harraps Pocket German-English Dictionary" gets it right!

  10. Well said Ron. I suppose there are two reasons why I baulk at "chair".

    First, in German, Strand is beach and Korb is basket (typically wicker). The Germans don't call them chairs.

    Second, it is misleading to dub a two-seater sofa or a park bench a "chair".

    How does one translate Kindergarten into English? Children's garden?

  11. Interesting, a French Company not doing what they claim to be doing on every title page of a European Patent.
    I always wondered who authorized that after the change to electronic publishing. Why not also the provider of the paper and of the printing ink? Why not the company providing the software for generating the pdf?
    Great Ad for Jouve anyway, and a French company deserves this, doesn't it? The French seemingly have a tradition of having related people doing nothing but the gouvenement paying for it, at least when you read the newspaper you get that impression. Presidential order? Honi soit qui mal y pense

  12. Here is some background to the EPO contract with Xerox/Jouve for bedtime reading:

  13. This highlights the fact that languages often use expressions figuratively rather than literally, that there are things used only in one country for which no exact descriptive words exist in other counties, and that literal translations of the component words of a complex expression can lead to errors. A page of the Oxford-Duden relating to engineering tools shows two different types of adjustable spanner for which the literal English translations of the German words are "Englishman" and "Frenchman".


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