Introduction to Chinese Patent Translation

   There are basically two forms of Chinese language. Simplified and Traditional. Simplified Chinese is the language used in mainland China (the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Traditional Chinese is used in Taiwan (the Republic of China (ROC)). Patent applications and granted patents in the People's Republic of China are written in Simplified Chinese. The same pronunciation (in most cases) as Traditional Chinese but very often different characters. I will only concentrate on Simplified Chinese (简体中文, jiǎntǐ zhōngwén) here.
   There are many identical characters in Simplified Chinese and Japanese (I'm guessing, but about 20 to 30% 'homology' sounds about right). Although there is this level of similarity, it must be remembered that the same character may have different meanings in Chinese and Japanese. Another point is that Chinese grammar isn't too far removed from English grammar. So I wondered how hard it could be to get to grips with Mandarin and begin translating chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech patents into English.

For a more detailed summary of translating chemical names from Simplified Chinese to English, please refer to the Organic Nomenclature in Chinese page.

Here are my trials and tribulations as they unfold so expect mistakes. I decided to:

1. Jump in at the deep end and tackle a patent straight off.

A few terms which are important in patent translation from the start. (Please note that I am not going to go into the pronunciation of Chinese here mainly because it is covered in a million places elsewhere.)

patent - 专利 (zhuānlì)
invention - 发明 (fāming)
inventor - 发明人 (fāmingren)
claims - 权利要求书 (quan'li yāoqiúshū)
description - 说明书 (shuōmíngshū)

A Chinese national patent application has the the following headings. I've added Pinyin as it may help in looking up a term (or character) in a dictionary.

(10) 申请公布 - Publication of Application (shēnqǐng gōngbù)
(12) 发明专利申请 - Publication of Unexamined Patent Application (fāmíng zhuānlì shēnqǐng)
(15) 专利文献更正信息 - Patent Correction Information (zhuānlì wénxiàn gēngzhèng xìnxī)
(19) 中华人民共和国国家知识产权局 - State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R.C (Zhōnghuá rénmín gònghéguó guójiā zhīshì chǎnquán jú)
(21) 申请号 - Application Number, Filing Number (shēnqǐng hào)
(22) 申请日 - Application Date (shēnqǐng rì)
(30) 优先权数据 - Priority Data (yōuxiān quán shùjù)
(43) 申请公布日 - Application Publication Date (shēnqǐng gōngbù rì)
(45) 授权公告日 - Authorization Date (Shòuquán gōnggào rì)
(48) 更正文献出版日 - Date of issuance of a corrected patent document (gēngzhèng wénxiàn chūbǎn rì)
(51) 国际专利分类号 - International Patent Classification (guójì zhuānlì fēnlèi hào)
(54) 发明名称 - Title of the Invention (fāmíng míngchēng)
(56) 对比文件 - List of prior art documents (duìbǐ wénjiàn)
(57) 摘要 - Abstract(zhāiyào)
(62) 分案原申请数据 - Number and, if possible, filing date of the earlier application from which the present patent document has been divided up (fēn àn yuán shēnqǐng shùjù)
(65) 同一申请的公布数据 - Number of a previously published patent document concerning the same application (tóngyī shēnqǐng de gōngbù shùjù)
(66) 本国优先权数据 - National Priority Data (běnguó yōuxiān quán shùjù)
(71) 申请人 - Applicant (shēnqǐng rén)
(72) 发明人 - Inventor (fāmíng rén)
(73) 专利权人姓名或名称及地址 - Name and Address of Patentee (zhuānlì quán rén xìngmíng huò míngchēng jí dìzhǐ)
(74) 专利代理机构 - Patent Agency (zhuānlì dàilǐ jīgòu)
(85) 国际申请进入国家阶段曰 - Date International Application Entered National Phase (guójì shēnqǐng jìnrù guójiā jiēduàn yuē)
(86) 国际申请的申请数据 - Application Data for International Applications (guójì shēnqǐng de shēnqǐng shùjù)
(87) 国际申请的公布数据 - International Publication Data (guójì shēnqǐng de gōngbù shùjù)

When searching for Chinese patents you may come across the following terms:

发明名称 (fāmíng míngchēng) (TI): Title
摘要 (zhāiyào) (AB): Abstract
主权利要求 (zhǔ quánlì yāoqiú) (CL): Main claim
申请人 (shēnqǐng rén) (PA): Applicant
申请号 (shēnqǐng hào) (AN): Application number
公开号 (gōngkāi hào) (PN): (laid open) Publication number
公告号 (gōnggào hào) (GN): Grant number
优先权号 (yōuxiān quán hào) (PR): Priority number
范畴分类 (fànchóu fēnlèi) (CT): Category classification
国省代码 (guó shěng dàimǎ) (CO): Province code
主分类号 (zhǔ fēnlèi hào) (MC): Main IPC class
权利要求 (quánlì yāoqiú) (CS): Claims
摘要 (zhāiyào) (AB): Abstract
关键词 (guānjiàn cí) (TX): Keyword
分类号 (fēnlèi hào) (IC): Classification
申请日 (shēnqǐng rì) (AD): Application date
公开日 (gōngkāi rì) (PD): Publication date
公告日(gōnggào rì) (GD): Grant date
发明人 (fāmíng rén) (IN): Inventor
申请人地址 (shēnqǐng rén dìzhǐ) (DZ): Applicant address
代理机构 (dàilǐ jīgòu) (AG): Agent
代理人 (dàilǐ rén) (AT): Representative
说明书 (shuōmíngshū) (DS): Description
专利公告 (zhuānlì gōnggào): Patent gazette
具体实施方式 (jùtǐ shíshī fāngshì): Detailed description
附图说明 (fùtú shuōmíng): Brief Introduction of the Drawings
发明的有利效果 (fāmíng de yǒulì xiàoguǒ) - Advantageous Effects of the Invention
实施方案描述 (shíshī fāng'àn miáoshù) - Description of the Embodiments

Other words, phrases and, characters found on the front page...

页 (yè) means page or leaf and is used as a counter for number of pages and number of claims. While on the subject of classifiers, the most common classifier is 个 (gè) which has no meaning in itself but simply indicates the number of 'things'.
权利要求书X页 - Number of pages of claims (suánlì yāoqiú shū X yè) [Not the number of claims as with JP National applications]
说明书X页 - Number of pages (shuōmíngshū X yè)
附图X页 - Number of attached drawings (fùtú X yè)

Within the patent text itself are the headings;

摘要 (zhāiyào), Abstract
发明领域 (fāmíng lǐngyù), Field of the Invention
发明概述 (fāmíng gàishù), Summary of the Invention
发明详述 (fāmíng xiángshù), Detailed Description of the Invention
发明内容 (fāmíng nèiróng), Description of the Invention
附图简述, Brief Description of the Drawings   
发明所要解决的课题 (fāmíng suǒyào jiějué de kètí), Subject Matter to be Solved by the Invention
背景技术 (bèijǐng jìshù), Background Art
相关的背景技术, Related Background Art
技术领域 (jìshù lǐngyù), Technical Field
定义 (dìngyì), Definitions
实施例 (shíshīlì), Example
举例实施例 (jǔlì shíshī lì), Experimental Examples
步骤 (bùzhòu), Step
项 (xiàng), Item
专利文献 (zhuānlì wénxiàn), Patent literature
非专利文献 (fēizhuānlì wénxiàn), Non-patent literature
一般方法描述 (yībān fāngfǎ miáoshù), General Description of Methods
一般方案 (yībān fāng'àn), General Scheme

Other phrases you might see in the patent text:

本发明说明书中 (běn fāmíng shuōmíngshū zhōng), in the specification of the present invention
本发明的优选实施方案进一步描述 (běn fāmíng de yōuxuǎn shíshī fāng'àn jìnyībù miáoshù), preferred embodiments of the present invention are further described
下面,更详细地说明本发明 (xamiàn, gèng xiángxì de shuōmíng běn fāmíng), the present invention is described below in more detail
本发明的优选实施方案进一步描述 (běn fāmíng de yōuxuǎn shíshī fāng'àn jìnyībù miáoshù), preferred embodiments of the present invention are further described
生产方法 (shēngchǎn fāngfǎ), production method
然而,本发明的范围当然不限于这些实施例 (rán'ér, běn fāmíng de fànwéi dāngrán bù xiànyú zhèxiē shíshī lì), however, the scope of the present invention is of course not limited to these embodiments

Other phrases typically found in the patent claims, disclosure or related to patenting include;

Chinese English
   
放弃专利权 abandonment of a patent
放弃专利申请 abandonment of a patent application
文摘 abridgement
摘要 abstract
滥用专利权 abuse of patent
专利侵权诉讼 action for infringement of patent
专利诉讼 action of a patent
文件送达地址 address for service
誓书 affidavit
准许 allowance
修改 amendment
肌萎縮性脊髓側索硬化症 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
及其使用方法 and method of use thereof
年费 annual fee
年费 annuity
占先 anticipation
抗肿瘤T细胞 anti-tumor T cell
上诉 appeal
原产地名称 appellation of origin
专利申请人 applicant for patent
申请日期 application date
申请案文件 application documents
申请费 application fee
申请 application for patent
公开供公众审查的申请 application laying open for public inspection
申请号 application number
申请案文件 application papers
仲裁 arbitration
技术 art
制品 article of manufacture
受让人 assignee
转让 assignment
转让人 assignor
发明人 author of the invention
发明人证书 authors certificate
基本专利 basic patent
伯尔尼公约 Berne Convention
伯尔尼联盟 Berne Union
最佳方式 best mode
著录资料 bibliographic data
粘合剂 binder
保护知识产权联合国国际局 BIRPI
申诉委员会 board of appeals
泄密 breach of confidence
国际承认用于专利程序的微生物保存布达佩斯条约 Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure
举证责任 burden of proof
判例法 case law
预告 caveat
增补证书 certificate of addition
更正证明书 certificate of correction
专利证书 certificate of patent
经认证的副本 certified copy
中成药 Chinese medicine, Chinese patent medicine
壳聚糖 chitosan
引证 citation
权项 claim
分类员 classifier
共同申请人 co-applicants
包衣材料 coating material
共同发明人 co-inventors
色码制 color coding
专利局长 commissioner
共同体专利公约 Community Patent Convention
完整的申请案 complete application
完整的叙述 complete description
完整的说明书 complete specification
组合物 composition
专利局长 comptroller
强制许可证 compulsory license
概念 conception
概念日期 conception date
机密申请 confidential application
保密情报 confidential information
冲突裁定 conflict award
冲突程序 conflict procedure
冲突申请案 conflicting applications
继续申请 continuation application
部分继续申请案 Continuation-in-part application
契约性许可证 contractual license
简介侵犯 contributory infringement
公约申请 convention application
公约国 convention country
公约日期 convention date
建立世界知识产权组织公约 Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization
公约期限 convention period
公约优先权 convention priority
版权 copyright
勘误表 correction slip
反诉状 counter pleadings
反诉 counterclaim
国家代号 country code
交叉许可证 cross license
资料 data
资料交换协议 data exchange agreement
申请日期 data of application
授予日期 date of grant
颁发日期 date of issue
专利日期 date of patent
公布日期 date of publication
捐献于公众 dedication to the public
被告人 defendant
辩护 defense
防卫性公告 defensive publication
延迟审查 deferred examination
从属权项 dependent claim
从属专利 dependent patent
衍生物 derivative
外观设计专利 design patent
发展 development
非对映异构体 diastereoisomer
放弃权项 disclaimer
公开 disclosure
崩解剂 disintegrant
分案 division
分案申请 divisional application
支配专利 domination patent
附图 drawing
专利有效期 duration of patent
经济专利 economic patent
实际申请日期 effective filing date
实施例 embodiment
雇员发明 Employee’s invention
对映异构体 enantiomer
欧洲专利局 EPO
英语非洲工业产权组织 ESARIPO
欧洲专利公约 European Patent Convention
欧洲专利局 European Patent Office
证据 evidence
审查 examination
审查制国家 examination countries
新颖性审查 examination for novelty
审查员 examiner
审查员报告 examiners report
独占性许可证 exclusive license
专有权 exclusive right
实验性使用 experimental use
期满专利 expired patent
实施专利 exploitation of a patent
展览优先权 exposition priority
征用 expropriation
延长专利期限 extension of term of a patent
费用 fee
国际工业产权律师联合会 FICPI
附图/图 figure
存档原件 file copy
申请日期 filing date
申请费 filing fee
提出申请 filing of an application
终局决定书 final action
先申请原则 first to file principle
先发明原则 first to invent principle
不可抗力 force majeure
外国专利申请 foreign patent application
形式审查 formal examination
额颞叶痴呆 frontotemporal dementia
融合蛋白 fusion protein
公报 gazette
关于科学发现国际注册日内瓦条约 Geneva Treaty on the International Recording of Scientific Discoveries
宽限期 grace period
授予专利权 grant of a patent
杂环化合物 heterocyclic compound
水合物 hydrate
专利局间情报检索国际合作巴黎联盟委员会 ICIREPAT
著录资料识别码 ICIREPAT Numbers for the Identification of Data
国际发明人协会联合会 IFIA
仿造 imitation, counterfeit
改进 improvement
改进专利 improvement patent
专利独立 independence of patents
产地标记 indication of source
间接侵犯 indirect infringement
工业实用性 industrial applicability
工业品外观设计 industrial design
工业产权 Industrial property
公开情报 information in the public domain
侵犯专利权 infringement of a patent
侵犯商标权 infringement of a trade mark
著录资料识别码 INID
国际专利文献中心 INPADOC
国际物理学和工程情报服务部 INSPEC
国际专利研究所 Institut International des Brevets
公开不允分 insufficient disclosure
知识产权 intellectual property
相互依存的专利 interdependent patents
抵触程序 interference procedure
中间禁止令 interlocutory injunction
中间命令 interlocutory order
保护植物新品种国际公约 International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants
国际发明人协会联合会 International Federation of Inventors Association
国际专利分类 International Patent Classification
国际专利分类协定 International Patent Classification Agreement
国际初审单位 International Preliminary Examining Authority
国际保护 international protection
国际检索单位 International Searching Authority
无效 invalidation
发明 invention
独创性 inventive step
发明人 inventor
发明人证书 inventors certificate
列名發明人 inventorship
国际专利分类 IPC
颁发专利 issue of a patent
共同申请人 joint applicants
共同发明 joint invention
共同发明人 joint inventors
共同专利权人 joint patentees
公报 journal
判决 judgment
后申请方 junior party
技术诀窍 know-how
已终止的专利 lapsed patent
专利诉讼 lawsuit of a patent
法人 legal person
说明 legend
专利证书 letters patent
许可证 license
许可证协议 license agreement
当然许可证 license of course
许可证贸易 licensing
国际许可贸易执行人协会 Licensing Executives Society International
许可人 licensor
保护原产地名称及国际注册里斯本协定 Lisbon Agreement for the Protection of Appellations of Origin and their International Registration
建立工业品外观设计国际分类洛迦诺协定 Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Design
专利权的丧失 loss of a patent
润滑剂 lubricant
冻干粉 lyophilized powder
商标国际注册马德里协定 Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks
制止商品产地虚假或欺骗性标记马德里协定 Madrid Agreement for the Repression of False or Deceptive Indications of Source on Goods
主专利 main patent
维持费 maintenance fee
标记 marking
装置/方式/手段 means
谅解备忘录 memorandum of understanding
方法 method
微囊化 microencapsulation
微缩文件 microforms
最少限度检索文献 minimum documentation
最低提成费 minimum royalties
滥用专利权 misuse of patent
混合许可证 mixed license
示范法 model laws
最惠条款 Most favored provision
突变的病毒 mutant virus
发明名称 name of invention
国民待遇 national treatment
自然人 natural person
邻接权 neighboring rights
植物新品种 new varieties of plants
商标注册用商品与服务国际分类尼斯协定 Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks
不审查制国家 Non-examining countries
非独占性许可证 non-exclusive license
非显而易见性 Non-obviousness
不实施专利 Non-use of a patent
公正机关 notary public
侵权通知 notice of infringement
新颖性 novelty
非洲知识产权组织 OAPI
异议 objection
官方審定書 office action
异议 opposition
口服固体制剂 oral solid preparation
独创性 originality
专利所有人 owner of a patent
原申请 parent application
巴黎公约 Paris Convention
巴黎联盟 Paris Union
专利 patent
专利法 patent act
专利代理人 patent agent
已申请专利 patent applied for
专利律师 patent attorney
专利分类 patent classification
专利文献 patent documentation
专利文件 patent documents
同族专利 patent families
发明专利 patent for an invention
专利法 patent law
专利许可证 patent license
专利号 patent number
增补专利 patent of addition
确认专利 patent of confirmation
输入专利 patent of importation
引进专利 patent of introduction
专利局 patent office
专利未决 patent pending
专利权 patent right
专利实施细则 patent rules
专利制度 patent system
专利性 patentability
专利发明 patented invention
专利权人 patentee
授予专利权 patenting
专利合作条约 PCT
专利合作条约 PCT Union
未决申请 pending application
专利有效期 period of a patent
所属技术领域的专业人员 person skilled in the art
请求书 petition
小专利 petty patent
药物组合物 pharmaceutical composition
种哌拉西林钠 piperacillin sodium
原告人 plaintiff
植物专利 plant patent
起诉状 pleadings
预告专利 precautional patent
判例 precedents
及其制法和用途 preparation method and use thereof
时效 prescription
预防或治疗 prevention or treatment
现有技术 prior art
先有技术 prior art
先用 prior use
优先权 priority
优先权声明 priority claim
优先权声明 priority declaration
方法专利 process patent
申请案的处理 processing of an application
前药 prodrug
产品专利 product patent
本发明提供了 provided in the present invention
暫時申請案 provisional application
临时说明书 provisional specification
公布 publication
肺纤维化 pulmonary fibrosis
原料 raw material
再分类 reclassification
再審查 re-examination
驳回 refusal
专利登记册 register of patents
登记专利 registered patent
注册商标 registered trade mark
登记 registration
登记制国家 registration countries
再颁发专利 reissue patent
驳回 rejection
补救 remedy
续展费 renewal fee
请求书 request
求繼續審查 request for continued examination
恢复已终止的专利 restoration of a lapsed patent
限制条款 restricted conditions
复审 review
恢复已放弃的申请 revival of an abandoned application
撤销专利 revocation of a patent
提成费 royalties
科学发现 scientific discovery
保护范围 scope of protection
盖章 seal
检索 search
机密专利 secret patent
职务发明 service invention
服务标记 service mark
签署 signature
普通许可证 simple license
单独申请人 single applicant
滑动提成费 sliding scale of royalties
排他性许可证 sole license
溶剂合物 solvate
说明书 specification
先有技术水平 state of the art
诉讼陈述 statement of claim
辩护陈述 statement of defense
防衛發明登錄 statutory invention registration
物质专利 substance patent
实质性审查 substantive examination
替代申請案 substitute application
继承 succession
充分描述 sufficiency of description
舒巴坦钠 sulbactam sodium
技术协助 technical assistance
技术资料 technical data
技术转移 technology transfer
临时保护 temporary protection
专利有效期 term of a patent
本发明的化合物 the compound in the present invention
工业品外观设计国际保存海牙协定 The Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs
本发明提供 The invention provides
发明名称 title of invention
专利所有权 title to patent
商标 trade mark
厂商名称 trade name
商标注册条约 Trademark Registration Treaty
中药 traditional Chinese medicine
中药组合物 traditional Chinese medicine composition
审判 trial
三萜类化合物 triterpenoid
不正当竞争 unfair competition
发明单一性 unity of invention
世界版权公约 Universal Copyright Convention
不能取得专利的主题 un-patentable subject matter
用途专利 use patent
实用证书 utility certificate
实用新型 utility model
建立商标图形要素国际分类维也纳协定 Vienna Agreement Establishing an International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks
印刷字体保护及其国际保存维也纳协定 Vienna Agreement for the Protection of Type Faces and their International Deposit
蓄意侵權 wilful infringement
世界知识产权组织 WIPO
撤回申请 withdrawal of an application
证人 witness
实施专利 working of a patent
世界知识产权组这 World Intellectual Property Organization