A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a country to an inventor (or his/her assignee) for a fixed period of time, for the purpose of preventing others from making, using, selling, offering for sale or importing the invention. The extent and effect of these exclusive rights vary considerably between countries, according to national laws and international agreements. Each country has its own patent office to process applications, grant patents, enforce relevant laws to protect patentees and prosecute infringements, and negotiate with other nations on issues of intellectual property rights. Patent documents are therefore legal and territorial in nature and need to be translated only by certified translators who have sufficient knowledge and experience in relevant national and international patent laws.
Patent documents contain specific information about the inventor (or his/her assignee), the invention (how it is made and applied, as well as its uniqueness and usefulness), and a series of “claims” that define exactly what the inventor (or his/her assignee) considers as his/her invention and its various embodiments. Because these specifications are often very technical and accompanied with complex illustrations, their translation should be equally professional, clear, precise and free of error.