Image courtesy of Docryackie via CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported Internationalization and branding is critical when entering a new market! Yet so many companies do it flippantly - maybe because they don't have budget, or maybe just because they are lazy. Making an early international mistake can create a reputation for your company that you may have to live with for the rest of your life.
McDonald's recently registered under a new name in China, roughly translated as "Golden Arches". Unfortunately, it's not catching on as well as they had hoped, so they're only using it for the registration and not for branding at the moment. Did they make a mistake? Did they move too quickly on this? What do you think? Time will tell.
WIPO continues to work on automated translation to assist in patent searches and otherwise, and now supports 10 languages. Will it work? We've run a few tests with less-than-stellar results. That doesn't mean we don't support automating translation to the extent possible - on the contrary. We use automated translation in many of our processes. However, with patents, concise and accurate wording is everything. We've even recently done some patent translation and related work for a partner who specializes in machine translation, with the specific request to not employ machine translation because of the nature of the work.
When applied properly, we believe the WIPO tool can still have a significant impact on simplifying patent searches and otherwise. We will continue to use it where appropriate, with the caveat that complete reliance on this tool will not provide you with the results you need in many cases. Be sure to always have human involvement when filing a patent!
Why translate? For one, as with any finished product, a user wants their purchase to feel as professional as possible. A bad translation can give the impression of a poorly crafted product, regardless of whether it is or not.
In conjunction with International Translation Day, Sharon Schweitzer talks about five ways translation can boost your business, which can be found here: