Introduction to Teaching Yourself Japanese Patent Translation

Welcome to The Kanji Foundry Learning - Patents

Welcome to The Kanji Foundry Learning Patent Translation website. This is a self-study course for people wishing to teach themselves Japanese-to-English patent translation in the fields of medicine, pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemistry, and biotechnology.
This course was written specifically with undergraduate and postgraduate students in mind although it is applicable to anyone wishing to specialize in Japanese-to-English patent translation in these fields. Many British, American, and Australian universities offer Masters degree courses in translation and interpreting for people with language-related first degrees, but they offer little in the way of specialist technical or patent translation. Even those courses offering technical and medical translation don't always offer much in the way of in-depth learning. Those that do are often very expensive. Why pay high fees for translation studies when you can teach yourself at a fraction of the cost? Why pay for expensive translation memory software like TRADOS or Deja-Vu when you can use Omega T free? It is hoped that this e-learning course will help students if they choose to specialize in patent work and want to teach themselves all aspects of medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology patent translation at low cost.
   This course approaches patents from a technical translator's point of view and not a grammar, linguistic, legal, or scientific point of view. It has been designed to introduce words, phrases, and constructs you will actually see in patent documents, explain their meaning and help you build your vocabulary. There are grammar notes to help explain the sentence constructs. Appendix 10 covers some of the most commonly used translation techniques.

This self-study course assumes several things:

*  First, the student has a good understanding of written Japanese and Japanese grammar. Notes are given throughout the lessons to help explain the grammar. Appendix 5 has some suggestions for books on learning Japanese grammar.
*  Secondly, the student has sufficient understanding of medicine, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology and the technical terms used in these fields. Much of this can be learned from background reading. New vocabulary is introduced in each lesson and there are 18 glossaries in Appendix 4.
*  Thirdly, the student understands the fundamentals of patenting and how patents are set out although this is not as important as the other points. (If you need a reminder of the principles of patents and patenting, read the Wikipedia entry or refer to Appendix 2 which explains more about patents and Appendix 5 which has suggestions for further reading.)
   Your proficiency in each of these is down to you! The more background knowledge you have, the easier and more beneficial this course will be (and the more profitable your work as a specialist translator will be too). You will learn a lot as you make your way through the lessons.

Why specialize in patent work? Patents are a form of intellectual property, the other main types being utility models, trademarks, designs, and copyrights. A patent is one way for an inventor to protect an invention. Japanese companies, organizations, or individuals file over 250,000 applications each year. Many of these documents are translated into a variety of languages, the main one being English (as the Japanese applicant seeks protection for their inventions in English-speaking countries and non-Japanese companies want to monitor what Japanese inventors are trying to protect). Patent translation can be challenging and rewarding. Patents are also an incredible source of information of cutting-edge technology.

Is it easy to set up my own translation/interpreting company? It isn't difficult to set yourself up as a sole trader in the UK. Appendix 8 has a lot of information on this including payment of tax and national insurance.

Do I need specialist knowledge? Well, yes you do. A strong background in pharmacology, biochemistry, medicine, and/or molecular biology or any similar field would be extremely useful although many professional translators have taught themselves enough of these sciences to be competent technical translators. Like all specialist translation, you can learn a lot by actually translating patents and learning as you go along. There is no shortage of reference material available to help you do this. Although patents use specialist vocabulary and specific word constructs, these too can be learned by practising translation. In the footer of each web page on this site and in the left navigation pane you will find a link to the Forum, a discussion forum hosted on this website and a place where you can ask any question about patent translation you like.

Are patent documents readily available? Yes. The major patenting authorities around the world provide freely accessible electronic databases for anyone to download a specific patent document or search for keywords in documents. Patents dating back as far as 1617 are still available, in some cases in printed form. The Japanese Patent Office database holds well over 8 million documents.

Where can I find work as a specialist translator?
Appendix 8 has a section on how freelance translators can find work.

How does the patenting process work? Basically, a patent is a 'monopoly right' to an invention (a product, process, or a new use of a known product) which is granted by a national government to an applicant (company, organization, or individual). This is a right of ownership to an invention for a specific period of time granted in return for a complete description and disclosure of the invention and it's a way for the applicant to protect the invention from being copied or used by a third party without the applicant's permission.
   Patenting is a two step process; first, a patent application is filed with a national patent office (a patent receiving office) and, secondly, a request for the application to be examined is made and, if certain criteria are fulfilled during the examination process, it is granted.
   A patent may be filed at any one of approximately 150 or so patent receiving offices worldwide or at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Switzerland. The patent application is a full description of the invention and describes what the applicant wants to protect. This document is written in a language which is acceptable to the various national patent offices (Japanese in the case of the Japan Patent Office although applications may be made in English if followed up within 14 months by a Japanese translation of the original document). The patent application is published ('laid open') for everyone to see 18 months after the original filing date and is given the kind code A (an unexamined patent application). It will generally contain the following headings and sections, although the order in which these sections occur may vary somewhat. Appendix 2 gives more details on this.

• Front page data (front matter, cover page, bibliographic data, or front page data (フロントページデータ)) - this section provides important identification information which, on Japanese (JP) national patents, covers information such as:

(11) Publication Number (特許出願公開番号, tokkyo shutsugan kōkai bangō)
(12) Publication of Unexamined Patent Application (公開特許公報, kōkai tokkyo kōhō)
(19) Japanese Patent Office (日本国特許庁, nihonkoku Tokkyochō)
(21) Application Number (出願番号, shutsugan bangō)
(22) Filing Date, (出願日, shutsugan bi)
(24) Registration Date (登録日, (tōroku bi)
(30) Priority (優先権, yūsenken)
(31) Priority Application Number, Priority Number (優先権主張番号, yūsenken shuchō bangō)
(32) Priority Date (優先日, yūsen bi)
(33) Priority Country (優先権主張国, yūsenken shuchō koku)
(43) Date of Publication of Application (公開日, kōkai bi)
(45) Publication Date (発行日, hakkō bi)
(51) International Patent Classification (国際特許分類, kokusai tokkyo bunrui, Int. Cl.)
(54) Title of the Invention (発明の名称, hatsumei no meishō)
(57) Summary (要約, yōyaku) (or Abstract)
(58) Field of Search (調査した分野, chōsa shita bunya)
(62) Indication of Divisional Application (分割の表示, bunkatsu no hyōji)
(65) Publication Number (公開番号, kōkai bangō)
(71) Applicant(s) (出願人, shutsugan nin)
(72) Inventor(s) (発明者, hatsumeisha)
(73) Patent Owner, Patentee (特許権者, tokkyo kensha)
(74) Agent (代理人, dairi nin)

Problem to be Solved - (課題, かだい)
Solution - (解決手段, かいけつしゅだん)
Basis for Classification - (技術表示箇所, ぎじゅつひょうじかしょ)
Number of Claims - (請求項の数, せいきゅうこうのかず)
Filing Format - (出願形態, しゅつがんけいたい) [OL, online]
Patent Attorney - (弁理士, べんりし)
Representative - (代理人, だいりじん)
Identification Number - (識別番号, しきべつばんごう)
Identification Symbol - (識別信号, しきべつしんごう)
Request for Examination - (審査請求, しんさせいきゅう)
Not Requested - (未請求, みせいきゅう)
Requested - (有, ゆう)
Theme Code (Reference) - (テーマコード(参考), テーマコードさんこう)
Pages Total - (全頁, ぜんぺーじ; 全頁数, ぜんページすう)
Name or Title - (氏名又は名称, しめいまたはめいしょう)
Domicile or Residence - (住所又は居所, じゅうしょまたはきょしょ)
Examiner - (審査官, しんさかん)
Original Application - (原出願, げんしゅつがん)
Date of Original Application - (原出願日, げんしゅつがんび)
International Search Report - (国際調査報告, こくさいちょうさほうこく)

• Claims (請求項, せいきゅうこう) - define the scope of protection the applicant wants the patent to cover. It is by far the most important part of the application as it clearly defines what the invention is (and often what it is not).
• Detailed Description of the Invention (発明の詳細な説明, はつめいのしょうさいなせつめい) - describes the invention in detail but in a different format from the claims.
• Background of the Invention (発明の背景, はつめいのはいけい) - describes the background against which the inventors came to produce the invention. Related patents and other referenced documents are usually mentioned in this section.
• Field of the Invention - 発明の分野 (はつめいのぶんや) - describes the area that the invention relates to.
• Technical Field of the Invention (産業上の利用分野, さんぎょうじょうのりようぶんや) - describes the area of industrial/scientific application of the invention.
• Brief Summary of the Invention (発明の概要, はつめいのがいよう) - provides a summary of the invention.
• Mode of Operation (発明の作用, はつめいのさよう) - describes how the invention works.
• Brief Description of the Drawings (図面の簡単な説明, ずめんのかんたんなせつめい) - describes in words the drawings accompanying the text and defines symbols used in them so that the reader does not have to refer to the body of the text for an explanation.
• Definitions (定義, ていぎ) - defines the technical terms used in the application (and can be complicated to translate especially if the inventors have invented new words to describe their invention).
• Examples (実施例, じっしれい sometimes referred to as Working Examples) - describes actual examples (態様, embodiments) of the invention, for example, how the product is made, how the process works, what are its medical effects, or how the known product can be used.
   This section may be divided into:

   参考例 (さんこうれい) - Reference Example, Referential Example
   参考製造例 (さんこうせいぞうれい) - Reference Production Example
   製造例 (せいぞうれい) - Production Example
   試験例 (しけんれい) - Test Example
   比較例 (ひかくれい) - Comparative Example

If the applicant wants to pursue the patent to the grant stage (and obtain rights to the invention), they must make a request for a patent examiner (an employee of a national patent office) to examine the patent application to ensure the invention:

   is novel;
   involves an inventive step;
   has industrial applicability; and
   it is not obvious to someone with a background knowledge in the field.

If the application fulfils these criteria, the patent will be granted, is given the kind code B indicating it is an examined and grated patent, and given a new 7-digit publication number. If it fails to fulfil these criteria, the applicant will be informed, the patent will not be granted and the applicant will have no rights over the invention. If it is granted, the applicant can then exercise their right over the invention. However, in the complex world of patenting, this does not mean the applicant can manufacture, market, or use the invention and there is never any guarantee that they will make any money out of it.
   A lot of patenting is done specifically to protect an invention, process, or use of a known entity. A lot of patenting is speculative. Applications are filed in the hope that the invention will be of value to someone, somewhere and they are also filed to prevent others from claiming the invention as theirs. The invented products and technology disclosed in patents can be licensed to third parties in return for royalty payments particularly outside the country of invention. As patent information flows from country to country, so the translator gets to work preparing documents in many languages and the Japanese-to-English language combination is one of the more common ones. There are several reasons for the high flow of patent information from Japanese to English. Not only do Japanese companies wish to obtain patent protection in English-speaking countries - and that they are prolific inventors - but non-Japanese companies want to monitor what Japanese companies are seeking patent protection for in case it infringes inventions over which they hold patent rights. Companies also what to monitor what their competitors are developing. Enforcement of patent rights is the responsibility of the patentee and is subject to the laws applying to intellectual property in each country where rights have been granted as patent rights are territorial.
   It's important to remember that there is no such thing as a worldwide patent. Patents filed at the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) can only establish a priority date, the date on which the application was first filed. Patent laws are national so a patent application must be filed in each country in which the applicant wants to protect their invention. Patent protection in, for example, Australia can only be obtained if an Australian national patent is filed with the Australian Patent Office. This Australian application, however, can use the date when a corresponding earlier WIPO application was filed (if one was, in fact, filed as there is no obligation to file with WIPO) as the date protection for the invention was first sought. More details of the patenting process can be found in Appendix 2.
   A unified system of patenting came into force in the European Union around January 2014 with one application (a unitary patent or a 'European patent with unitary effect') covering the 25 member states (which are part of the unitary system) and which can can be filed in English, French, or German. There is also be one unitary court to decide on matters of infringement and appeals. More information of the unitary system can be found on the Wikipedia website.

   The 30 Lessons in this course describe and present examples of both unexamined (A) and examined patents (B) and describe, from the translator's point of view, many of the words, phrases, and constructs found in medical, pharmaceutical, and biotechnological patents. There are hundreds of example sentences in these lessons and plenty of worked examples.
   The course content is set out below. The early lessons may seem simple enough but they gradually build in complexity and provide more complex examples so that most aspects of patent language are covered. At the end of the Lessons there are Appendices on translation of patent-related material, a vocabulary list of commonly encountered words and phrases, and a reference section giving links to literature, web resources, patent information, and an introduction to useful software for translators.
   This course deals largely with unexamined patent applications (A) which have not been examined by a patent examiner and have not been granted. A request for an examination may never be made (the patent may be abandoned), the patent might not be granted even if an examination is carried out, it might be granted without rewording, or it might be granted only after rewording. Sometimes, a patent you encounter will make no sense at all and will be scientifically incorrect and you are also likely to encounter many spelling mistakes and mistranslations.

The lessons in this course are...
Lesson 0 – Setting up and Patent Basics. Set up your PC under Windows 7/8/10, and Mac OS X; getting the PC/Mac setup to get going with translation and finding sources of patent information on the web – skip this Lesson if you've already set up your PC and have book marked the sources you prefer! Exercises and practice looking up patents using different websites and databases and extracting data from the patents you have found. The basics of patenting are covered and Lesson 0 gives a step-by-step guide to:

   Patent Basics
   Japanese Patent Information Sources
   Patent Search and Download Sites in English
   Patent Search and Download Sites in Japanese
   Searching for a Specific Word of Phrase
   How to find a Patent Family Members
   Other Patent Search and Retrieval Websites
   Before the translation begins...

Lessons 1-10 introduce around 80 constructs, words, and phrases commonly seen in patents and will present examples and a short exercise for each. Lessons 5 and 10 are summary lessons.

Lesson 1
  1-1  が...ある, aru (with Kanji readings table)
      Box 1-1Ex Usage notes for すること
  1-2  持(も)つ, motsu (with Kanji readings table)
      Box 1-2Ex(a) Usage notes for 化 (か)
      Box 1-2Ex(b) Usage notes for と, や, 及び, 並びに, 又は, あるいは, もしくは and それとも
  1-3  含(ふく)む, fukumu (with Kanji readings table)
  1-4  として, toshite
  1-5  結合(けつごう)する, ketsugō suru
      Box 1-5 Usage note for なさる
  1-6  認識(にんしき)する: ninshiki suru
      Box 1-6Ex Usage notes for 価 (か)
  1-7  介(かい)する, kai suru
  1-8  用(もち)いる, mochi iru
  1-9  関(かん)する, kan suru
      Box 1-9Ex Usage notes for the suffix (きゅう)
  1-10  からなる, karanaru
      Box 1-10 Usage notes for comprising vs. consisting of

Lesson 2
  2-1  いずれか, izureka
  2-2  記載(きさい)する, kisai suru
  2-3  要(よう)する, yō suru
      Box 2-3Ex Usage notes for のに
  2-4  含有(がんゆう)する, ganyū suru
  2-5  調節(ちょうせつ)する, chōsetsu suru
  2-6  制御(せいぎょ)する, seigyo suru
      Box 2-6 Usage notes for 群 (ぐん)
  2-7  関与(かんよ)する, kanyo suru
  2-8  によって, ni yotte
  2-9  によって得(え)られる, ni yotte erareru
  2-10  得(う)る, uru

Lesson 3
  3-1  特異的(とくいてき), tokuiteki
  3-2  有(ゆう)する, yū suru
  3-3  対(たい)する, tai suru
  3-4  コードする, ko-do suru
      Box 3-4 Box 3-4 Usage notes for 診断 (しんだん)
  3-5  表(あらわ)す, arawasu
      Box 3-5 Eugene Markush and the Introduction of R Groups
  3-6  許容(きょよう)される, kyoyō sareru
      Box 3-6 Usage notes for 上 as a suffix
  3-7  示(しめ)す, shimesu
  3-8  -してなる, -shitenaru
  3-9  示唆(しさ)される, shisa sareru
  3-10  対応(たいおう)する, taiō suru

Lesson 4
  4-1  より詳細(しょうさい)に, yori shōsai ni
      Box 4-1 Usage notes for より when making a comparison
  4-2  提供(ていきょう)する, teikyō suru
  4-3   望む(のぞむ), nozomu
  4-4  比較(ひかく), hikaku
  4-5  求(もと)める, motomeru
  4-6  -ながら, -nagara
      Box 4-6Ex Usage notes for さ
  4-7  伴(ともな)う, tomonau
  4-8  特(とく)に, toku ni
      Box 4-8 Usage notes for ーず
  4-9  ように, yō ni
  4-10  至(いた)る, itaru

Lesson 5 - Summary and Test
  Exercise 1
  Exercise 2
  Practice Text 1 with Walk Through
  Practice Text 1 - On Your Own

Lesson 6
  6-1  欠損(けっそん)する, kesson suru
  6-2  以下(いか)の配列(はいれつ)よりなる, ika no hairetsu yori naru
  6-3  はじめとする, hajime to suru
  6-4  賦与(ふよ)する, fuyo suru
  6-5  当(あ)たり, atari
      Box 6-5 Usage notes for 分類学(ぶんるいがく)
  6-6  相当(そうとう)する, sōtō suru
  6-7  受(う)ける, ukeru
      Box 6-7 Usage notes for ...える/...ある
  6-8  由来(ゆらい)する, yurai suru
  6-9  ...であって...以下(いか), ...deatte...ika
  6-10  考(かんが)える, kangaeru
      Box 6-10Ex Usage notes for 追加 (ついか)

Lesson 7
  7-1  よりも...の方(ほう)が, yori hō ga
  7-2  主(しゅ)として, shu toshite
  7-3  よい, yoi
      Box 7-3 Usage notes for 修飾(しゅうしょく)する vs 改変(かいへん)する
  7-4  通(つう)じて, tsūjite
  7-5  必(かなら)ずしも...ない, kanarazushimo...nai
  7-6  かぎり, kagiri
      Box 7-7 Usage notes for かぎり and かぎらず
  7-7  みなす, minasu
  7-8  似(に)る, niru
  7-9  よらず, yorazu
  7-10  傾向(けいこう), keikō

Lesson 8
  8-1  やすい・にくい, yasui/nikui
  8-2  と言っても(といっても), to itte mo
  8-3  -勝ち(-がち), -gachi
  8-4  働かせる(はたらかせる), hatarakaseru
  8-5  互い(たがい), tagai
  8-6  恐らく(おそらく), osoraku
  8-7  わけにはいかない, wake niwa ikanai
  8-8  のに, noni
  8-9  なければならない, nakerebanaranai
  8-10  できるような, dekiru yō na

Lesson 9
  9-1  含(ふく)むことを特徴(とくちょう)とする, fukumu koto o tokuchō to suru
  9-2  配列(はいれつ)よりなる, hairetsu yori naru
  9-3  同一(どういつ)もしくは実質的(じっしつてき)に同一(どういつ), dōitsu moshikuwa jisshitsuteki ni dōitsu
  9-4  相補的(そうほてき)もしくは実質的(じっしつてき)に相補的(そうほてき)な, sōhoteki moshikuwa jisshitsuteki ni sōhoteki na
  9-5  ことが分(わ)かった, koto ga wakkata
  9-6  寄託(きたく)される, kitaku sareru
  9-7  のみならず・だけでなく, nominarazu/dakedenaku
  9-8  ほかならない, hoka naranai
  9-9  かどうか, kadōka
  9-10  加(くわ)えて, kuwaete

Lesson 10 - Summary and Test
  Exercise 1
  Exercise 2

Lessons 11-15 focus on product claims and present worked examples.

Lesson 11 - Introduction to Product Patents – general introduction to vocabulary encountered in WO and JP national applications. Lessons 12-15 provide worked examples of product patents.

Lesson 12 - Product Patent 1 - plasmids originating in ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and use of the same.

Lesson 13 - Product Patent 2 - novel thiazepine derivatives as an inhibitor of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase.
      Box 13-1a Usage notes for 式
      Box 13-1b Usage notes for において

Lesson 14 - Product Patent 3 - a novel monoclonal antibody in the treatment of osteoporosis.
      Box 14-1 FERM numbers

Lesson 15 - Product Patent 4 - an extended release gastro-retentive oral drug delivery system for valsartan.

Lessons 16-20 focus on method claims and present worked examples.

Lesson 16 - Introduction to Process or Method Patents – general introduction to vocabulary encountered in WO and JP applications. Lessons 17-20 provide worked examples of process patents.

Lesson 17 - Process Patent 1 - a method for the production of multivesicular liposomes.
      Box 17-1 Usage notes for にて

Lesson 18 - Process Patent 2 - crystals of bicalutamide and a method for their production.
      Box 18-1 Usage notes for ...させる

Lesson 19 - Process Patent 3 - a cytotoxic and immunosuppressant T-cell population.

Lesson 20 - Process Patent 4 - a method and kit for detecting target protein using a DNA aptamer.

Lessons 21 to 25 deal with new use claims and present worked examples.

Lesson 21 - Introduction to New Use Patents – general introduction to vocabulary encountered in WO and JP applications. Lessons 22-25 provide worked examples of new use patents.

Lesson 22 - New Use Patent 1 - new use of budesonide and formoterol in chronic obstructive airway disease and the inventors' reasons for combining these two drugs.

Lesson 23 - New Use Patent 2 - new use of cannabinoids to treat high cholesterol levels and the inventors' reasons for the use of cannabinoids in treating hypercholesterolemia.
      Box 23-1 Usage notes for ...ている

Lesson 24 - New Use Patent 3 - pyrazolyl derivatives in treating pain and the inventors' reasons for the use of these compounds in treating pain.
      Box 24-1 Usage notes for 員

Lesson 25 - New Use Patent 4 - novel use of adenoviruses and encoding nucleic acids and the inventors' reasons for the use of these adenoviruses.
      Box 25-1 Usage notes for 系

Lessons 26-30 deal with prior art, examples, drawings, JP national granted, and unexamined patents, microorganism deposition and nucleotide sequence information and present examples.

Lesson 26 – Introduction to Prior Art - its purpose, layout and examples. This lesson covers examples of the following and provides some worked examples as well as examples of Field of the Invention, Summary of the Invention, and References.

   Lesson 26-1 - A novel antibody and its use in the risk of bone fracture and osteoporosis.
   Lesson 26-2 - Inhibitors of viral infection targeting the integrase N-terminal region.
   Lesson 26-3 - Substituted amines and neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders.
      Box 26-3 Usage notes for that vs which
   Lesson 26-4 - A method of promoting nucleic acid transfer.
      Box 26-4a Usage notes for と as a conjoining particle
      Box 26-4b Usage notes for される and させる
      Box 26-4c Usage notes for the repetition mark 々
   Lesson 26-5 - Liquid dosage forms of non-enterically coated, acid-labile drugs.
      Box 26-5 Usage notes for ...ば indicating a conditional
   Lesson 26-6 - examples of Field of the Invention, Summary of the Invention, and References

Lesson 27 – Introduction to Examples and Drawings – chemical, biochemical and biological. Lesson 27 provides 4 worked examples.

   Lesson 27-1 - A transferrin receptor protein of Moraxella.
   Lesson 27-2 - Novel viral polymerase inhibitors.
   Lesson 27-3 - An in vitro receptor binding assay.
   Lesson 27-4 - Modified release tamsulosin tablets.

Lesson 28 – Introduction to JP National Applications - a look at the layout of JP national patents both unexamined (A) and granted (B).

Lesson 29 – Microorganism Deposition and Nucleotide Sequence Information.

Lesson 30 – Summary (True or False questions)

Appendices 1-8 deal with patent- and translation-related topics and documents, glossaries and reference material. All appendices are Japanese-language specific except Appendix 7 which describes software tools which can be used in any language combination.

Appendix 1 – A look at the various types of claims with examples

   Fingerprint Claim - Physiologically active substance NK13650P3
      Box A1 Describing Degrees of Solubility
      Box A2 List of Chemical Reactions and Reagents
   Product-by-process Claim - Crystals of cefdinir
   Reach-through Claim - Corticotrophin-releasing factor 2 receptors
   Mechanism of Action Claim - A method for selectively inhibiting PGHS-2 activity
   Jepson-type Claim - A process for producing valproic acid
   Swiss-type Claim - Nicotinic acid compositions for treating hyperlipidemia

Appendix 2 - A look at patent classification, applications, and examinations

   Patent classification
   Main headings on PCTs
   Main headings on JP, WO, US, and GB patents and the main differences between them
   International Patent Classification (IPC) codes
   International Search Reports (ISR)
   Written Opinion of the International Searching Authority (WOSA, WO/ISA)
   Japanese F-Terms (File-forming Terms)
   European Classification (Cooperative Patent Classification replacing ECLA)
   Divisional Applications
   Accelerated Examinations
   Double patenting
   Submarine patents

Appendix 3 - Other patent–related material

   Opposition/Invalidation (異議/無効)
   Official Action (Notification of Reasons for Refusal) (拒絶理由通知書)
   Supplementary Protection Certificates
      Patent Term Extension (追加保護証明書) in Japan
      Hatch-Waxman (ハッチ・ワクスマン法) patent term extension in the US

Appendix 4 - A general glossary of words and terms used in patents.

Some specialist glossaries:

   Appendix 4-1   Glossary of Cardiology Terms
   Appendix 4-2   Glossary of Chemical Salts
   Appendix 4-3   List of patent Country Codes
   Appendix 4-4   Glossary of Pharmaceutical Excipients
   Appendix 4-5   Glossary of Chemistry Terms and Functional Groups
   Appendix 4-6   Glossary of Neurology Terms
   Appendix 4-7   Glossary of English Patent Terms
   Appendix 4-8   Glossary of Pathotoxicology Terms
   Appendix 4-9   Glossary of Patent Terms
   Appendix 4-10   Glossary of Statistical Terms
   Appendix 4-11   Glossary of Drug Names
   Appendix 4-12   List of Japanese Medical Journal Titles
   Appendix 4-13   List of Japanese Medical Schools and Related Institutions
   Appendix 4-14   List of Histological Stains
   Appendix 4-15   Glossary of Imaging Terms
   Appendix 4-16   Glossary of Pharmaceutical Development Terms
   Appendix 4-17   Glossary of Parasitology Terms
   Appendix 4-18   Glossary of Radiology Terms

Appendix 5 – References

   • Reference Books
   • Websites
   • Educational Resources
   • Translation Community & Blog
   • Japanese/Western Calendar Conversion
   • Counter Suffixes
   • Units
   • Text Marks and Symbols
   • A Brief History of Patenting
   • Numbering and Dating Systems
   • Proofreaders' Checklist

Appendix 6 - Notes for Japanese Patent Translators
   Notifications, Guidelines, Ordinances and Reports
   Keyboard input for Japanese characters

Appendix 7 - Software tools for translators

1. Preparing Documents for Translation
2. Opening Secure PFDs
3. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Software
4. Translation Memory Software
   → Text Alignment Software
   → Concordance Software
   → 20-minute step-by-step guide to Omega T
   → 20-minute step-by-step guide to Yonde KoKo
   → 20-minute step-by-step guide to Nitro PDF
5. Text Manipulation Software
6. Dictation Software
7. Machine Translation Software, Computer-assisted Translation
8. Work Flow Control
9. Desktop Search Software
10. Using Google (or any search engine) Effectively
11. Your Own Website
12. Miscellaneous
13. Main Differences between US and UK spelling
About this Website

Appendix 8 - Setting up a Translation/Interpreting Business in the UK - how to deal with domestic and foreign income tax, and national insurance as well as dealing with customers.

1. Setting up your own Freelance Translation Business in the UK
     Registering your Business
2. Looking for Work
3. Dealing with Translation Agencies
4. Making a Quote for a Translation/Interpreting Assignment
5. Invoicing a Customer
6. Dealing with Accounts and Accounting Software
7. Dealing with Tax and National Insurance Contributions
8. Filing a Tax Return
     Register with the Government Gateway
     File your Tax Return on-line or use Tax Software
     Value Added Tax
     Tax Liability
     Withholding Tax and Foreign Tax
     Capital Expenditure, Allowable and Disallowable Expenses
9. Pensions
10. Late Payments from your Customers
11. Professional Indemnity Insurance
12. Summary of Important Websites and Allowances

Appendix 9 - Extras - some more examples of claims, prior art, and examples taken from a range of patents covering an odd assortment of subjects.

   (9a) Beer-like alcoholic beverage
   (9b) Technology to clone Dolly the sheep
   (9c) Production of the FlavrSavr® tomato
   (9d) A Neisserial vaccine composition
   (9e) Some examples of medicinal/organic chemistry
         - preparation of nucleoside triphosphate

Appendix 10 - Translation and Proofreading Techniques - a brief look at the linguistics of translating including borrowing, calque, literal translation, transposition, modulation, equivalence, adaptation, and omission in technical translation.

Appendix 11 - Patent Searching Techniques for Translators. Some simple methods for patent searching including portfolio searches, patentability and infringement searches, and patent classification searches.


If you work methodically through each of the 30 lessons you should be able to complete the exercises. If you have problems, go back and repeat each lesson or the lesson relevant to the point you're stuck on. The entire course was designed so that you can work at your own pace and refer back to the lessons at any time. If you want to ask a question, post it on the Forum.

Example Lesson

Each lesson shows text taken from actual patents. For example, Lesson 3-3, which explains the use of 対する (たいする, tai suru), is shown in the following example (new vocabulary with reading in hiragana is shown in blue):

blue lineLesson 3-3

対する; たいする; tai suru

towards, against, to, to face, to confront

(対 (つい, tsui) on its own can mean 'pair', 'couple' or 'set', eg, 塩基対 (えんきつい, enki tsui), base pair)
You may also see -に対して (-ni tai shite) meaning 'concerning', 'regarding', 'in regard to', 'against', 'in the face of'
に対して can mean 'with respect to' but is often translated as just 'to'

For example:

ソマトスタチンレセプターのある種のサブタイプに対して良好な親和性を有し, has good affinity to certain sub-types of somatostatin receptors
1種もしくは複数の既知の医薬に対して耐性になった菌株, a strain resistant to one or more known medicines
1又は複数のポリオール群に対して抱合又は結合する, to conjugate with or bind to one or more polyol groups
薬物含有層に対して、2~30質量%の有効成分を含有する, contains active ingredient at 2 to 30wt% with respect to the amount in the drug-containing layer

You may also see to mean the ratio (of components in a mixture):

体積比で11で混合した混合物, mixture with a volume ratio of 1:1
重量比を51から11で混合, weight ratio of 5:1 to 1:1


For example:

肝癌細胞 (かんがんさいぼう, kangan saibō) = hepatic cancer cells


against hepatic cancer cells

細胞傷害活性 (さいぼうしょうがいかっせい, saibō shōgai kassei) = cytotoxic activity

If we expand this a little to 肝癌細胞に対して細胞傷害活性を有する...

having cytotoxic activity against hepatic cancer cells


Here's another example from JP2007291128, a transferrin receptor protein of Moraxella from Sanofi Pasteur.

分画 (ぶんかく, bunkaku) = fraction (分画する, to fractionate)
トリスHCl = Tris HCl
24時間 (24じかん, 24 jikan) = (for) 24 hours

透析 (とうせき, tōseki) = dialysis (透析する, to dialyze)


...those fractions were dialyzed against 50mM Tris HCl (pH8) for 24 hours

There is a link to the original patent if you want to see where the example came from. Some of the early lessons have a
漢字 icon below the definition box which is linked to a table showing the On and Kun readings of the kanji character as well as what it means in English.
   In Lessons 11 onwards (worked examples) the order is slightly different with the Japanese text being given first, then vocabulary, followed by an example translation.

Note: if you are using Firefox as your browser, you can use the Internote add-on to write your own notes on each page of this site as you work through the Lessons. Other browsers have similar add-ons. See Appendix 7 for more useful software tools.

Patent sources

All the examples used in these lessons and exercises have been taken from pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnological, and agrochemical patents although some examples have been corrected for spelling errors and mistranslations. These documents can be easily retrieved from the major worldwide patent databases at Esp@cenet, WIPO, the USPTO the JPO (IPDL) websites and Lesson 0 shows, in detail, how to retrieve documents from the various databases available and how to find family members.
   Published patents are not copyrighted, so may be freely downloaded. Certain organizations do have some copyright control over the content of their databases but 'citation and reprint of the material is permitted' in many cases.

Computer specifications
Any reasonably powered PC running Windows 7/8/10 or a Mac running OS X. All pages were primarily tested on Safari and Ice Dragon for the PC. This website also works well with Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer (version 8 or later), and Google Chrome. The pages also display well on an iPad and other tablets. A fast internet connection would also be useful as some example PDFs are quite large files. A PDF reader such as Adobe Reader XI or Nitro PDF Reader is required.

Cost of this course and how to subscribe

Subscriptions to The Kanji Foundry Learning have not stopped and it is no longer possible to subscribe. The site will no longer take subscriptions from Summer 2019. Thank you to all our subscribers and apologies this may cause in future.

Lesson 0 - Setting up and Patent Basics   right arrow