WIPO Applies Neural-Based Technology to Instant Chinese-to-English Patent Translation

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has recently upgraded its instant patent translation service at the publicly available platform WIPO Translate by application of the emerging neural machine translation technology. The upgraded service is currently available for Chinese to English translation only, but will be extended to other source languages including Japanese, Korean, and French.
According to WIPO director general Mr. Francis Gurry, Chinese has been chosen as the language to start with because of the global trend that patent applications are increasingly being filed in East Asian languages, in particular in Chinese. In 2015, about 14 percent of international patent applications were filed in Chinese. And with a filing of about 30,000 international patent applications, China was the third biggest filer after the US and Japan in 2015.
To make such a vast and ever-increasing wealth of patent documents more easily accessible, WIPO applied the neural translation technology to compare a corpus of 60 million sentences from Chinese patent documents provided to WIPO's PATENTSCOPE database by the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) with their translations as filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The new technology surpasses the previous phrase-based translation model in that it produces a more natural rendering by learning from the colossal data to adjust word orders to mirror those of the target language.