Google signs deal to translate European patents

Nov 30, 2010
Internet search giant Google Inc. Director of Development Chewy Trewhella checks his laptop as he delivers a presentation of Google translator for patents during a press conference in Paris, France, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010. Google Inc. on Tuesday announced an agreement to use its technology to translate patents into Europe's many languages, a deal that officials hope will smooth the way toward a simplified European patent system after years of deadlock. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

(AP) -- Google announced an agreement Tuesday to use its technology to translate patents into 29 European languages, a deal officials hope will smooth the way toward a simplified European patent system after years of infighting.

Google Inc.'s deal with the European Patent Office, or EPO, will make it easier for inventors and scientists from across the continent to read and understand patents. The EPO has 38 member countries.

Disputes about which languages should take precedence on official documents has long prevented the move to a European Union-wide standard patent. The has been pushing for a unified system, but Spain and Italy have refused to accept its contention that it should be enough to have patents translated into English, French and German.

The European Commission says the agreement with should help do away with the huge translation fees that prevent growth and hurt small businesses. It is presently 10 times more expensive to apply for a patent in Europe than in the United States.

Officials say they hope the Google translation will also appease some countries' fears that they will be at a disadvantage.

Benoit Battistelli, president of the European Patent Office, said for those countries the deal is "a kind of compensation, so they can accept the idea that for economic reasons it's necessary to choose only a few languages and not to use all of them."

Carlo d'Asaro Biondo, Google's vice president for southern and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the company did not expect any immediate financial profit from the deal.

The agreement benefits Google by giving it access to a vast body of patents already translated into different languages. That will improve the Mountain View, California-based company's machine translation technology, which "learns" languages by comparing translations that have already been carried out by professionals.

The EPO will feature the Google translation service on its website.

Explore further: New approach to online compatibility

0 shares

Related Stories

Google adds automatic translation to Gmail

May 20, 2009

Google added automatic translation technology to Gmail on Tuesday, allowing users of its email service to translate messages in another language with a single mouse click.

Yahoo! and Google Resolve Disputes

Aug 09, 2004

Yahoo! Inc. and Google Inc. today announced that the companies have resolved two disputes that have been pending between the companies.

Recommended for you

New approach to online compatibility

7 hours ago

Many of the online social networks match users with each other based on common keywords and assumed shared interests based on their activity. A new approach that could help users find new friends and contacts with a greater ...

Most internet anonymity software leaks users' details

21 hours ago

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are legal and increasingly popular for individuals wanting to circumvent censorship, avoid mass surveillance or access geographically limited services like Netflix and BBC ...

WikiLeaks says NSA spied on French business

22 hours ago

WikiLeaks has released documents that it says show that the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on France's top finance officials and high-stakes French export bids over a decade in what the group called targeted economic ...

Google gets extended deadline to answer EU case

Jun 29, 2015

Brussels has given Google an extension until mid-August to answer an anti-trust case alleging that the tech giant abuses its search engine's market dominance, a company spokesman said Monday.

Facebook opens first Africa office

Jun 29, 2015

Facebook announced Monday it had opened its first African office in Johannesburg as part of its efforts "to help people and businesses connect" on the continent.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Gena777
not rated yet Dec 06, 2010
I'm glad Google and the EPO made their recent arrangement regarding translation. This is a rational and inventive approach to the deadlock over translation. Now, hopefully, plans for a unified European patent system can finally move forward.
http://www.genera...-clients

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.