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In this day and age where global business is the norm, getting a patent in your home country isn't always enough to adequately protect your products from being ripped off by unscrupulous manufacturers abroad. Some inventions are not really useful worldwide, but if you've created something everyone in the world has need for, then you need to be extra careful and apply for patents in multiple countries. The international patent treaty can help you by smoothing the way for your applications but you still need validation from each country you want protection in. And that means translating your documents so that the assessors in their national patent office can read about what you're selling.
Obviously, not every inventor knows Chinese or Russian or even French or German. So how can you hope to apply for a patent in the official language of those countries? You will have to hire a translator to translate your documents for you. Where patents are concerned, a regular translator might not always do. Someone who is used to using their language skills to negotiate contracts or subtitle television shows may not know the proper translations for the technical words in your briefs and on your schematics. To avoid mistranslations that result in confusion or rejection of your application, use specialized patent translation services. Their translators are specially trained in multi-lingual technical writing and are your best chance of approval.
Many of the companies that provide translation services also offer the services of an agent who will help you complete and file your applications and who will make sure everything is submitted on time according to each country's national laws and rules. There is, of course, an extra fee for the services of an international patent agent or lawyer, but if you're no expert in legalese, if you have trouble with deadlines, or if the whole multi-level international patent application process fills you with confusion, it will be a good investment. If you fail to get your patent application approved the first time around, you may not be able to apply again and you will lose all protection in those countries.