Report:Thomson Innovation/Data Coverage/Patent Coverage/Full Text Coverage/Japan (JP)
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Thomson Innovation offers both human-assisted translations of Japanese patent documents, and the native language document collections themselves. This section will describe both collections.
English Human-Assisted Translation Collections
Innovation contains three proprietary databases of full text human-assisted translations for Japanese documents: one for published applications, one for granted patents, and one for utility models. All three collections update on a weekly basis, although update intervals and dates are irregular, based on receipt of the data. The next scheduled update date is a best-estimate based on experience. The help guide defines "human assisted translations" as when the full patent is machine translated with additional human input to correct untranslated terms. The translation includes the bibliographic details, author title and abstract, wider disclosure, and all claims.
Full text human-assisted translations for Japanese published applications (JP-A) exist in the database from 2003-present. In addition, bibliographic data (including hand-translated English abstracts produced by JAPIO, where available) exists in the database from 1971-present. The earliest image/PDF available for a full-text record in this collection is April 25, 1964.
Full text human-assisted translations for Japanese granted patents are available from 2005-present, and limited coverage is available from 1998-2004. (Information about bibliographic data for these patents is not present, but the worldwide bibliographic INPADOC collection will include this data, and this file is also hosted by Innovation.) The earliest image/PDF available for a full-text record in this collection is April 8, 1981.
Full text human-assisted translations for Japanese utility models are available in full text from 2008-present, and bibliographic data is available from 1971-present (with gaps).  The earliest image/PDF available for a full-text record in this collection is January 6, 1986.
The Thomson Innovation Japanese translations are notable because the machine translation is only an assist to Thomson Reuters' Japanese-language editors. Whenever there are multiple English synonyms for the Japanese word originally used in the patent, the Thomson Reuters' machine-assisted translation will generate all of the possible English synonyms, to increase the chance that the document will be picked up by a keyword hit. These machine translations are then reviewed by Thomson Reuters editors, who choose the most appropriate synonyms from the list of choices generated by the machine translation (supposedly with reference to the intended meaning in the original text). In cases where multiple synonymous keyword terms are generated, the editors will leave all appropriate terms in the final translation, enabling keyword searches using either alternative to successfully find the record. Comparing the two examples below, this multiple-synonym feature is evident in the Thomson Reuters translation.
- Example paragraph from JPO machine translation, JP3989943B2, Claim 1:
- “The wing section which has the first transition section attached in the body, The actuator which twists said wing section to the circumference of said first transition section in a next predetermined period from before reversal of the movement direction in said flapping-of-wings reciprocating motion while making said wing section flutter and reciprocate to a cross direction, When the torque or energy required of said actuator for said flapping-of-wings reciprocating motion is smaller than a predetermined value, energy is accumulated from said actuator, and when the torque or energy required of said actuator for said flapping-of-wings reciprocating motion is larger than a specific value, it has energy are recording / supply device in which energy is given to said actuator, Said flapping-of-wings reciprocating motion consists of movement with a fixed angular velocity, and movement for reversal of said movement direction where it is carried out succeeding this movement and angular velocity changes, Said energy are recording / supply device is flapping-of-wings surfacing migration equipment which accumulates energy only in the first half of movement for reversal of said movement direction from said actuator, and gives energy to said actuator only in the second half of movement for reversal of said movement direction.”
- Example paragraph from Innovation, JP3989943B2, Claim 1:
- “The blade|wing|shuttlecock part which has the front-edge part attached to the main body, While making the front-back direction carry out the flapping reciprocating motion of the said blade|wing|shuttlecock part, it is the predetermined period of before inversion of the exercise|movement direction in the said flapping reciprocating motion to the back. WHEREIN: The actuator which twists the said blade|wing|shuttlecock part to the circumference of the said front-edge part, When the torque or energy request|required of the said actuator for the said flapping reciprocating motion is smaller than predetermined value, energy is accumulate|stored from the said actuator, When the torque or energy request|required of the said actuator for the said flapping reciprocating motion is larger than a specific value, the energy-storage * donation mechanism in which energy is given to the said actuator is provided, The said flapping reciprocating motion is an exercise|movement with a constant angular velocity, It consists of the exercise|movement for inversion of the said exercise|movement direction where it is carried out succeeding this exercise|movement and an angular velocity changes, And The said energy-storage * donation mechanism accumulate|stores energy only in the first half of the exercise|movement for inversion of the said exercise|movement direction from the said actuator, The flapping floating up movement apparatus which gives energy to the said actuator only in the second half of the exercise|movement for inversion of the said exercise|movement direction.”
Because of the long history of technical innovation in Japan, and the massive number of patent documents that have been filed there, the Japanese collections are essential to prior art searchers. The Thomson Innovation collections represent a substantial improvement in coverage not seen in other online databases. The collections are unique because they consist of full text human-assisted translations produced by The Scientific Business of Thomson Reuters which are not available in any other patent search product. According to Thomson Reuters, a "human-assisted translation" is produced by a machine translation tool, and then reviewed for accuracy by a human editor.
Because they are reviewed by human editors, these proprietary collections are said to be of superior quality to those available to the public via the Japanese Patent Office’s free IPDL (Industrial Property Digital Library) machine translation service.
In addition, this service is advantageous because these human-assisted translations have already been produced, and the patent text exists in the database in English. Formerly, the Japanese application collection consisted only of hand-translated English abstracts. An English-language keyword search will query the full machine-translated text of these documents, increasing the chance of retrieval. On the other hand, it is also true that machine translations are often inaccurate, and if the Japanese text is inaccurately translated into English, this will increase the number of false drops. However, overall the achievement should be looked at in a positive light, as it generally makes relevant material more “findable.”
It is also notable that Innovation offers a collection of Japanese granted patents (JP-B) and utility models in addition to the published applications (JP-A). This will be an advantage to searchers investigating potential clearance or right-to-use issues in Japan. In addition, another advantage is that Innovation’s bibliographic coverage of Japanese published applications (JP-A) is superior to the old collection hosted by PatentWeb: Innovation covers bibliographic information back to 1971, while PatentWeb only has full-text and front page records back to 1976.
Native Language Japanese Collections
Thomson Innovation also offers, in a separate subscription package (or "content set"), native Japanese language collections of JP patent documents. These collections are sourced from the Japanese Patent Office.
Native Japanese patent applications are available from 1986-present (both bibliographic and full-text), granted patents are available from 1983-present (bibliographic) and 1986-present (full-text), and utility models are available from 1983-present (bibliographic) and 1986-present (full-text). The collections are updated weekly, and F Terms/FI Codes and legal status are updated on a biweekly basis.
The Thomson Innovation help file provides the following notes about these collections:
- These documents are in full text (bibliographic data, abstract, claims, description) and updated to reflect the latest classification and legal status.
- Bibliographic data for Japanese patents between 1983 and 2003 may differ from information on the PDF image.
- Information for bibliographic data between 1983 and 2003 comes directly from the JPO Standardized data source. This data received updates up to 2004 and is subject to change within that range. The PDF images reflect information from when the patent was first published and do not include any updated information.
- Data (abstract, claims, description) from 1986-1993 was obtained using OCR scanning.
These collections may be searched from the Native Japanese Search Interface.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Patent Collection Details." Thomson Innovation website, http://www.thomsoninnovation.com/tip-innovation/support/help/collections_patent.htm. Accessed August 31, 2012.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Patent Collection Coverage Chart." Thomson Innovation website, http://www.thomsoninnovation.com/tip-innovation/support/help/collections_coverage_chart.htm. Accessed August 31, 2012.
- ↑ "PatSearch FullText®." MicroPatent website, http://www.micropat.com/0/new_fulltext29809.html. Accessed September 4, 2012.
- ↑ "Worldwide PatSearch™." MicroPatent website, http://www.micropat.com/0/new_wps9809.html. Accessed September 4, 2012.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 "Native Japanese Patent Collections in Thomson Innovation." Thomson Innovation website, http://www.thomsoninnovation.com/tip-innovation/support/help/collections_njp.htm. Accessed September 4, 2012.