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Overcoming language barriers in patent information search. Sep. 2010, Geneva Daeshik Jeh Director General, Information Policy Bureau Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). Contents. 1. Introduction. 2. KIPO’s Activities. 3. Global Efforts. 4. Conclusion. 1/34. Background.

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slide1

Overcoming language barriers in patent information search

Sep. 2010, Geneva

Daeshik Jeh

Director General, Information Policy Bureau

Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO)

slide2

Contents

1

Introduction

2

KIPO’s Activities

3

Global Efforts

4

Conclusion

1/34

slide3

Background

1. Introduction

Convertibility of information based on automatic translation or interpretation may shake up everything from employment and the organization of the office, to the role of literacy in daily life…

- Power Shift by Alvin Toffler

2/34

slide4

Background

1. Introduction

As the world continues to come together in forms such as the UN, WTO, WIPO, EU, BRICs, NAFTA, and APEC, it has become increasingly important to exchange, convert and analyze information across various languages.

The EU secretariat has approximately 4,000 translators and interpreters on its payroll, which consumed around 800 million Euros in 2006. This translates to 1% of its total budget and 40% of its administrative budget.

In spite of all this effort, there still remains difficulties in multi-lingual translations (e.g., Finnish → English → Hungarian).

* Source : EU Website

3/34

slide5

Necessities – Patent examination

1. Introduction

Patent Application

PCT Application

* Source: WIPO website

2,000

80%

1,854,416

# of patent applications:

a 26% increase from 2001 to 2007

1,701,179

1,600

70%

1,491,494

1,460,536

1,200

60%

# of patent applications by non-residents: continuously increasing; reached 43.3% of the total # of applications filed in 2007

58%

58.3%

56.7%

57.4%

800

50%

802,853

725,506

621,294

613,379

43.3%

40%

400

42.6%

41.7%

42%

’01 ’03 ’05 ’07

4/34

slide6

Necessities – Patent examination

1. Introduction

Patent Application

PCT Application

PCT applications: a 48% increase from 2001 to 2007

200

60

56.0%

55.2%

52.5%

159,953

150

50

47.3%

PCT applications in non-native English speaking countries: gradually increasing

136,753

115,206

108,236

100

40

The PCT has now regulated its official languages to include: English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Korean and Portuguese

30

50

’01 ’03 ’05 ’07

* Source: WIPO website

- English: US, EP, GB, CA, AU

- Non-English: JP, KR, CN, DE, RU

5/34

slide7

Necessities – Patent examination

1. Introduction

PCT Application

Patent Application

PCT applications: a 48% increase from 2001 to 2007

Patent applications: a 26% increase from 2001 to 2007

PCT applications in non-native English speaking countries: gradually increasing

Patent applications by non-residents: continuously increasing; reaching 43.3% of the total # of applications filed in 2007

The PCT has now regulated its official languages to include: English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Korean and Portuguese

Consequently, during patent examinations, it has now become necessary to cite and refer to foreign documents as much as to domestic documents.

6/34

slide8

Necessities – R&D

1. Introduction

As technologies become further developed and enhanced, they become globalized beyond an enterprise’s nationality and the conventional features of an area/region.

Make it mandatory for prior art searches of patent databases to be included in the planning and evaluation of R&D projects

Patent information should be widely used in R&D activities and the recent advent of“Open Innovation” has made it more necessary, now than ever, to refer to foreign patent information

Improve R&D projects

7/34

slide9

How to overcome language barriers

Demerits

1. Introduction

Study the language of target country

Hire multilingual search-personnel

Use a machine translation system

many translations in a short time

low quality translations, big initial investment is required

faster and high quality prior art searches

takes a long time to learn and be fluent in a foreign language

more understandable translation and flexible management of human resources

bad prior art searches due to the lack of expert knowledge of such personnel

Merits

Fast and

Cost-effective!

8/34

slide10

Commercial Machine Translation Services

1. Introduction

Lots of commercial MT services including Google are available to the public.

Diverse services such as translation of web pages, translation toolbar etc.

9/34

slide11

Use of Commercial Machine Translation Services

1. Introduction

Demerits

Merits

Since commercial MT services are being continuously extended to cover many languages, almost all patent documents in the world can be translated through them.

There are many free services available to the public.

As they cover general sentences, they can be applied to both patent and non-patent literature.

10/34

slide12

Use of Commercial Machine Translation Services

1. Introduction

Merits

Demerits

Demerits

Prior art searches through commercial MT services do not provide convenience in editing search queries. More so, search queries/results have to be copied and pasted one by one.

Since commercial services are designed to support broad areas, they may be inefficient for a specialized area like patents.

Many IPOs including KIPO, EPO, and JPO either have customized commercial translation engines or in-house developed ones.

11/34

slide13

Machine Translation Service Status of Some Major Countries in Asia

1. Introduction

Patent specific MT services targeting non-native English speaking countries such as China, Japan, and Korea

KIPO and JPO have customized commercial translation engines, while SIPO’s was developed in-house.

12/34

slide14

1

Introduction

2

KIPO’s Activities

MT Services

2.1

2.2

Patent Information Search

Global Efforts

3

Conclusion

4

13/34

slide15

Status of KIPO’s MT Services

JAPANESE

KOREAN

ENGLISH

ENGLISH

2. KIPO’s Activities – MT Services

J2K Translation Service

Launched in 2000

PL / NPL written in Japanese for KIPO’s examiners

PL written in Japanese for the general public

J2K Translation

14/34

slide16

Status of KIPO’s MT Services

JAPANESE

KOREAN

ENGLISH

ENGLISH

2. KIPO’s Activities – MT Services

K-PION Service

K2E Translation

K2E Translation Service

37IPOs

Launched in 2005

For examiners of foreign IPOs and KIPO

Korean patent documents

JAPANESE

15/34

slide17

Status of KIPO’s MT Services

JAPANESE

KOREAN

ENGLISH

2. KIPO’s Activities – MT Services

K-PION Service

K2E Translation

K2E Translation Service

E2K Translation Service

37IPOs

Launched in 2005

For examiners of foreign IPOs and KIPO

Korean patent documents

Launched in 2008

PL/NPL written in English for KIPO’s examiners

PL written in English for the general public

JAPANESE

E2K Translation

16/34

slide18

Specialized Machine Translation Services for Patent Documents

2. KIPO’s Activities – MT Services

To improve the quality of machine translation engines, the following issues have been considered:

Linguistic features

- Word order (Korean and Japanese have same word order → Subject + Object + Verb phrase; while for Chinese and English, it’s Subject + Verb phrase + Object.)

- Letters(English, German, and French originated from Latin characters; while Korean, Japanese and Chinese have their own characters)

Digitization of patent documents

- Accuracy in digitizing patent documents through OCR greatly influences the quality of machine translations.

17/34

slide19

Specialized Machine Translation Services for Patent Documents

2. KIPO’s Activities – MT Services

To improve the quality of machine translation engines, the following issues have been considered:

Building of a patent-specific terminology dictionary

Use of markup documents such as XML

- e.g., KIPO has published patent gazettes in XML since February 2005.

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slide20

Methods of improving translation quality

2. KIPO’s Activities – MT Services

Korean Patent Gazette

Features of Patent documents

Abstract: usually a single long sentence and thus has a high possibility of error when machine translated

Specification: brief explanation of the drawing is written in a simple sentence and the other parts, in general descriptive sentences.

Claims: has a hierarchical tree structure made of independent and dependent claims. Written in a noun phrase

19/34

slide21

Methods of improving translation quality

2. KIPO’s Activities – MT Services

Features of Patent documents

Name

In XML documents, the tags help users to identify the different sections as described in the previous slide.

Others

Abstract, Summary

Description Drawings

Claims

Different translation protocols depending on the tag information of the patent gazette

20/34

slide22

Example – Korean Patent Gazette

2. KIPO’s Activities – MT Services

XML of Korean Patent Gazette

Application Server

K2E

Translation Server

REQ_HNM_KE

1. Analyze XML Tag Information

오은영 → Oh Eun Young

REQ_KE

본 발명은… → This invention…

2. Adjust appropriate translation protocol

REQ_ABS_KE

본 발명은… → This invention…

REQ_DRDES_KE

도1은 본 발명에.. → Drawing 1 is a…

3. Translate

REQ_CLAIM_KE

폐피혁을 용매에.. → Methodology of…

21/34

slide23

Applicability to Patent Documents Produced by Other IPOs

2. KIPO’s Activities – MT Services

Patterns distinguished in markup documents such as XML

A consistent pattern depending on each item

22/34

slide24

Patent Information Search using MT engines

Users

Users

2. KIPO’s Activities – Patent Information Search

Target users and objectives of MT services

- internal examiners or foreign examiners

Building of a database

- original documents or machine translated documents

To use MT engines for patent information search, the following issues have been considered:

DB

(Machine

translated

docs.)

DB

(Original

docs.)

DB

(Original

docs.)

Machine

Translator

Machine

Translator

* In terms of cost-benefit analysis, the former is better for low frequency of using foreign docs. while the latter is better for high frequency of using foreign docs.

Formulation of search queries (e.g., operators, terminology dictionary)

Screen layout / organization

23/34

slide25

KOMPASS (Korean Multifunctional Patent Search System)

2. KIPO’s Activities – Patent Information Search

KOMPASS targets KIPO examiners and supports patent information search in English and Japanese.

It conducts integrated search in Korean, English, and Japanese, respectively.

Korean integrated search function targets Korean and Japanese documents

English integrated search function targets all kinds of data retrieved from English documents and the search results can be translated into Korean.

Japanese integrated search functiontargets all kinds of data retrieved from Japanese documents and the search results can be translated into Korean (only for patents and utility models)

(Japanese documents: database built from machine-translated documents)

24/34

slide26

KOMPASS (Korean Multifunctional Patent Search System)

Users

2. KIPO’s Activities – Patent Information Search

KOMPASS targets KIPO examiners and supports patent information search in English and Japanese.

It conducts integrated searches in Korean, English, and Japanese, respectively.

Korean integrated search function targets Korean and Japanese documents

English integrated search function targets all kinds of data retrieved from English documents and the search results can be translated into Korean.

Japanese integrated search functiontargets all kinds of data retrieved from Japanese documents and the search results can be translated into Korean (only for patents and utility models)

(Japanese documents: database built from machine-translated documents)

  • Japanese gazettes were previously searchable through machine translation.
  • Due to the rapid increase of its use by KIPO examiners, the search speed has been getting slower.

Machine

Translator

DB

(Original

docs.)

25/34

slide27

KOMPASS (Korean Multifunctional Patent Search System)

Users

2. KIPO’s Activities – Patent Information Search

KOMPASS targets KIPO examiners and supports patent information searches in English and Japanese.

It conducts integrated searches in Korean, English, and Japanese, respectively.

Korean integrated search function targets Korean and Japanese documents

English integrated search function targets all kinds of data retrieved from English documents and the search results can be translated into Korean.

Japanese integrated search functiontargets all kinds of data retrieved from Japanese documents and the search results can be translated into Korean (only for patents and utility models)

(Japanese documents: database built from machine-translated documents)

  • In 2009, for faster search, all the Japanese gazettes were machine-translated and used to build a database.
  • KIPO examiners’ convenience has been greatly improved.

Machine

Translator

DB

(Machine

translated

docs.)

DB

(Original

docs.)

26/34

slide28

KOMPASS (Korean Multifunctional Patent Search System)

Korean Search

2. KIPO’s Activities – Patent Information Search

KOMPASS targets KIPO examiners and supports patent information searches in English and Japanese.

It conducts integrated searches in Korean, English, and Japanese, respectively.

Korean integrated search function targets Korean and Japanese documents

English integrated search function targets all kinds of data retrieved from English documents and the search results can be translated into Korean.

Japanese integrated search functiontargets all kinds of data retrieved from Japanese documents and the search results can be translated into Korean (only for patents and utility models)

(Japanese documents: database built from machine-translated documents)

Korean keyword search of Japanese documents (using J2K database)

27/34

slide29

K-PION (Korean Patent Information Online Network)

Foreign

Examiners

Translate

Search results

into English

Automatically

translated into

Korean Keywords

2. KIPO’s Activities – Patent Information Search

K-PION is a free search service for helping foreign examiners better understand Korean patent information (examinations, gazettes etc).

It also supports an English keyword search service.

service for retrieving Korean patent and utility model gazettes and examination information from original and machine-translated documents

an English keyword search service for KPAs

service for Korean industrial designs and trademarks including PCT related documents

an English keyword search service for Korean patent and utility model gazettes

Search

Korean gazettes

Applicant

K-PION Patent Information Retrieval

Extended to

Korean synonyms

Input

English Keywords

28/34

slide30

1

Introduction

KIPO’s Activities

2

3

Global Efforts

IP5 Foundation Project on Mutual Machine Translation

3.1

3.2

Cross-Lingual Information Retrieval

Conclusion

4

29/34

slide31

IP5 Foundation Project onMutual Machine Translation

3. Global Efforts

  • IP 5 offices will improve the quality of machine translation (MT) services
  • and harmonize MT services among themselves.
  • Achieved by:
  • (Improvement of the quality of MTs)
    • Joint quality review of non-English to English MTs by English speaking Offices
    • MT system upgrade based on the quality review results
    • Reduction of errors in original documents
  • (Harmonization of MT services)
    • Harmonization of the contents of MT services
  • Regarding searches, this project will help each office to better understand the prior art documents of other offices and to use them in citations

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slide32

WIPO’sCLIR (Cross-Lingual Information Retrieval)

3. Global Efforts

CLIR has been newly added to the PATENTSCOPE and the beta version is currently under test by the public.

When searching PCT and national application data, inputted keywords can be extended into other languages such as English, French, German, Japanese, and Spanish.

Linked to Google translation service; search results are available in all the languages it supports.

Available in over 1.7 million published international patent applications (PCT) and in more than 3 million when patent documents from Regional and National collections are included.

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slide33

1

Introduction

KIPO’s Activities

2

Global Efforts

3

4

Conclusion

32/34

slide34

4. Conclusion

Considering the tremendous amount of global patent information, machine translation services will be the most practical and efficient way to search patent information of other IPOs.

There are many ways to implement a patent search system using an MT engine. In selecting a specific methodology, each IPO should consider the frequency of use, budget, and linguistic features.

For improving the performance of MT and search systems, each IPO may consider some options such as building of a machine-translated database, patent-specific terminology dictionary, and state-of-the-art IT technologies such as XML.

International cooperation among IPOs is very important for the improvement of MT quality. KIPO has done its utmost in order to overcome language barriers and enable non-Korean speakers to better access Korean patent information. KIPO will continue to collaborate with other IPOs in this regard.

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