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The information on this page is not legal advice. It is provided for informational purposes only. Because of its brevity, this information can only discuss complex legal issues in general terms. The information here may not be applicable to your individual situation. If you wish to make a business decision, please employ the services of a patent agent or patent attorney.

Q. I have a non-English patent application that I want to submit to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)? Do I need to obtain an English translation in order to submit it?

A. Not immediately. You are allowed to submit a non-English translation initially. But an English translation must be submitted later. The English translation must be submitted by a deadline, and there is an extra fee for this late submission. An immediate non-English submission may be desirable if there is a statutory bar deadline that affects your application. In addition, the English translation should not introduce new matter. If new matter is introduced, you may need to file an additional continuation-in-part application.

Q. I have submitting an Information Disclosure Statement (IDS) with my patent application. It contains foreign language references. Do these references need to be translated?

A. No. Unless the patent examiner requests a translation. If the examiner requests a translation, then you must provide one.

Q. I wish to make a third party submission to the USPTO and my documents are not written in English. What are the translation requirements?

A. 37 CFR 1.290(d)(4) requires an English language translation of any non-English language item identified in the document list. … 37 CFR 1.290(d)(1) provides for the listing of either entire documents or portions of documents. Thus, where only a portion of a non-English language document is listed, a translation of the entire non-English language document must not be submitted. Rather, a copy of the listed portion of the non-English language document and a translation of only this portion must be submitted.

Q. My US patent application, originally written in a language other than English, has finally issued as a US patent. However, my non-English application was poorly translated into English, and it affects the meaning and scope of the US patent. What must be done?

A. If the patent is now defective, you will need to submit a reissue application. Whenever any patent is, through error, deemed wholly or partly inoperative or invalid, by reason of a defective specification or drawing, or by reason of the patentee claiming more or less than he had a right to claim in the patent, the [USPTO] Director shall, on the surrender of such patent and the payment of the fee required by law, reissue the patent for the invention disclosed in the original patent, and in accordance with a new and amended application, for the unexpired part of the term of the original patent. No new matter shall be introduced into the application for reissue.