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TRANSLATION COSTS: HUGE PROPORTION OF FILING COSTS


Published on 24 March 2016

It is well-known that every country across the globe has its own patent legislation that comprehensively lays out the requirements for filing a patent application. One such major requirement is the language in which an application is to be filed. Four of the top ten patent offices (China, Japan, South Korea, and Russia) require an application to be filed (or translated) into the local language.  As an IP professional, it is extremely difficult to provide an accurate estimate of translation costs to a client. This is where our software Global IP Estimator can be of immense help, as illustrated in the below example.

Let us consider a relatively simple case of a 30-page PCT application (10 claims; no drawings) with one priority claim, filed in English, with subsequent National Phase Applications into the four countries mentioned above. An estimate of the total costs (official, associate, and translation) incurred in each country for electronic filing are depicted in Table 1.

Table 1: Estimate of Total Costs Incurred to file a National Phase Application

Country Estimate (US Dollars)
China 4,190
Japan 8,290
South Korea 5,420
Russia 4,945

 

The official costs are only a fraction of the total cost estimates, and range from 0.5% to 3.7 % of the total cost estimates (Table 2).

Table 2: Impact of Official Fees on Total Cost Estimates

 Country
Official Fees (US Dollars) % of Total Cost Estimate 
China  156 3.7 
 Japan 129 1.6 
South Korea  53
Russia 21 0.4

 

Translation costs, on the other hand are incredibly high and constitute the majority of the total cost estimates (Table 3). It’s quite surprising to note that, despite the huge variation in total cost estimates, the translation costs are almost the same for each of the four jurisdictions when expressed as a percentage of the total cost estimates.

Table 3: Impact of Translation Costs on Total Cost Estimates

 Country
Translation Costs (US Dollars) % of Total Cost Estimate 
China  3,190 76
 Japan 6,430 78 
South Korea  4,400 81 
Russia 3,950 80

Note: Estimates are based on an assumption of 500 words per page

Based on these costs, one can imagine how expensive it could be to translate complex patent applications where the specification runs into 100 or more pages. Added to this, there is also the fluctuation in exchange rates that has to be factored into the equation. Thus, it is vital to accurately predict these costs in order to facilitate proper allocation of funds. Our software has been validated by academicians (WIPO, 2008) and industry professionals across the world.

Interested in our products or want to know more? Contact us right away!

Exchange Rates Used:

1 US Dollar = 6.58 Chinese Yuan, 116.62 Japanese Yen, 1208.46 Korean Won, and 77.77 Russian Ruble


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