Report:Thomson Innovation/Data Coverage/Patent Coverage/Full Text Coverage/China (CN)
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Thomson Innovation's Asian patent content set also contains human-assisted translation collections for Chinese documents. These human translations encompass the author title, abstract and all claims of Chinese patent applications and utility models, but do not extend to the patent descriptions (thus, the collections are not "full text"). Coverage of both patent applications and utility models includes front page and claims from 2007 to present and bibliographic data from 1985 to present. Both files (Chinese applications and utility files) update weekly, usually within two weeks of the publication date. The system notes for both files that "a robust quality control process is in place to ensure continuous monitoring and improvement of the translations."
In general, the only images available for these records are DWPI representative images (if available from the DWPI file). The earliest image/PDF for the application collection is September 4, 1985 (for bibliographic records) and November 10, 1985 (for front page and claims). The earliest image/PDF for the utility model collection is September 4, 1985 (for bibliographic records) and September 10, 1985 (for front page and claims). The earliest image/PDF for the bibliographic file of Chinese granted patents is September 4, 1985.
The Thomson Innovation help file states that Chinese Granted patents are available in DWPI Enhanced Patent Data, and Chinese Granted bibliographic data is available in Other Authorities (from 1985 to present and updated weekly).
The Thomson Innovation Chinese translations are described as "human assisted translations", like the human assisted Japanese patent translations (see Japanese Data Coverage for more information). The Thomson Innovation help files describe the human assisted translations for Japanese records as a process where the full patent is machine translated with additional human input to correct untranslated terms. The Thomson Innovation help file states that "a robust quality control process is in place to ensure continuous monitoring and improvement of the translations."
Given the state of current translation technology, human translations are always preferable to machine-generated ones. The results of this manual translation process are very readable; however, human translation quality can of course vary from translator to translator. Interestingly, in producing human translated English abstracts for the Chinese collection, Thomson Reuters is actually duplicating work already provided by SIPO to Espacenet. Below is an example abstract from Innovation's proprietary Chinese translations, which will be compared to the Espacenet abstract and also the DWPI abstract:
Innovation Title: High-silaceous shear material
- The invention claims a high-silaceous shear material, consisting of Fe, C, Cr, Si and unavoidable impurity elements; the mass percent of each component is: C: 0.30-0.50%; Cr: 10.0-15.0%, Si: 1.5-2.5%; Mn not more than 0.70%; the unavoidable impurity elements not more than 0.65%; the rest is Fe. The hardness property, toughness property and corrosion resisting property of the material of the invention are equivalent to those of stainless steel, excelled the immediate mild steel and low-chromium stainless steel, and the cost is lower than that of high-carbon high-chromium stainless steel and it is the special material for manufacturing shears.
Here is the human-translated abstract for the same patent, presented by Espacenet, which obtains human-translated English abstracts for Chinese applications from SIPO, the Chinese patent office:
SIPO/Espacenet Title: High-silicon material for knifes and scissors
- The invention relates to a high silicon content material for the knife and the scissors, which is composed of Fe, C, Cr, Si and unavoidable impurity element, wherein, the mass percent content of all components is: C is 0.30 to 0.50 percent; Cr is 10.0 to 15.0 percent; Si is 1.5 to 2.5 percent; Mn is lower than or equal to 0.70 percent; the unavoidable impurity element is lower than or equal to 0.65 percent; the residue is Fe. The hardness, the toughness, and the corrosion resisting property of the material of the invention basically correspond to the high carbon and high chromium stainless steel, better than the mid-low carbon steel and low chromium stainless steel, and the cost is lower than the high carbon and high chromium stainless steel, which is the special material for producing the knife and the scissors.
Finally, below is the DWPI title and abstract for the patent family of the same record (obtained through Thomson Innovation):
DWPI Title: High-siliceous shear material comprises carbon, chromium, silicon, manganese, impurity elements, and iron
- A high-siliceous shear material contains (mass%) carbon (0.30-0.50), chromium (10-15), silicon (1.5-2.5), manganese (≤ 0.70), impurity elements (≤ 0.65), and iron.
- A high-siliceous shear material.
- The material is inexpensive and has improved hardness, toughness, and corrosion resisting property.
It is clear that Thomson Innovation is generating their own human-translated titles and abstracts for these records (independently of those generated by Derwent indexers for the DWPI or the Chinese Patent Office for Espacenet). It seems to the editors that the effort to produce human translations of Chinese applications is somewhat wasted on duplicating work that has already been done by SIPO in providing human translated English abstracts to Espacenet. On the other hand, given the importance of China in the global economy, and the rising rates of patent filings there, it is reasonable to expect that the Chinese patent collection will attract a lot of scrutiny from searchers. By creating this collection Thomson Reuters provides searchers with an additional resource for Chinese patent data, and notably, it is one that is likely to provide different results from most other commercial search tools, which load INPADOC/DOCDB data to provide Chinese abstracts.
In addition, the human translations of Chinese patent application and utility model claims will surely be a very welcome addition to the body of available patent material. The time and staff needed to produce human translations is surely significant, and the patent information industry is lucky to have human translated collections like this one.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Patent Collection Details." Thomson Innovation website, http://www.thomsoninnovation.com/tip-innovation/support/help/collections_patent.htm. Accessed September 4, 2012.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Patent Collection Coverage Chart." Thomson Innovation website, http://www.thomsoninnovation.com/tip-innovation/support/help/collections_coverage_chart.htm. Accessed September 4, 2012.
- ↑ Espacenet search result for number search on "CN101280393." http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?KC=A&date=20081008&NR=101280393A&DB=EPODOC&locale=en_EP&CC=CN&FT=D. Accessed September 2, 2012.
- ↑ Pollock, Daniel. "Thomson Innovation 2.0: Exploring the IP Landscape." January 12th, 2009. Outsell website, http://outsellinc.com/store/insights/3960. Accessed January 29, 2009.