Translations for the semiconductor industry
a case study

The challenge: quality patent translations for novel products

Translations for semiconductor patents are an ever-growing market: even the most recent statistics published by the EPO show a 21% increase over 2020 in the number of European patents filed by the world’s largest manufacturers, for one of the most dynamic electronics industries worldwide, linked to the production of electronic devices for a wide variety of sectors.

In 2007 we began working with a large industrial company in Munich, which was looking for new native-speaking translators experienced in intellectual property documents, capable of handling the translation of a large number of patents -especially long and complex ones- in a tight timeframe and providing flawless compliance certifications for each translated patent, aimed at U.S. markets.

The latest statistics released by the EPO, show a sharp increase (21 percent over 2020) in the number of European patents filed by the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers.

Source: EPO Patent Index 2021

What we translated

Our translators handled translations in direct language combination from German to American English (a total of 400,000 words) working on patent documentation referring especially to the development of various cutting-edge optoelectronic devices, semiconductor devices, and light-emitting diode.

Our primary goal to satisfy our client

Especially in legal and regulatory contexts such as this one, it becomes essential for translators to be as faithful as possible to the source text, so as to preserve concepts and intentions set forth by the client, along with the correct use of the nomenclature and linguistic codes in use in the regulatory framework of reference.

The quality level of our translations should never be affected by the length of the texts to be reworked, nor should it be conditioned by the delivery time required, urgencies that in this case too were perfectly respected, to the client’s utmost satisfaction.

The project in a nutshell

Within the short span of ten scheduled days, we delivered the translated patent documentation, paginated and complete with illustrative images and translated captions. The content pre-pagination and translation phases were followed by those of terminology review by the two scientific reviewers with degrees in electrical engineering, complemented by quality control by native translators in the target language, American English, with degrees in the source language (German), and with expertise in the target expertise area.

Our extra gear

Translating with a short deadline is nothing new for us, and it was not a problem this time either. For this job, based on our experience we organized a team of about fifteen professionals including specialized translators, technical reviewers and scientific researchers in the following way:

  1. First setup by project management of specific terminology glossaries and custom translation memory for the client, both to be updated each time based on corrections provided by the client company’s patent attorneys.
  2. selection of the team of native translators with specific know-how required by the project, i.e., with a degree in translation for the source language, language and legal skills gained in advanced courses for the specific field, or with at least 5 years of background in a similar field
  3. creation of digital glossary related to new technical terminology, to be submitted (for review and approval) to electronic engineers and designers
  4. 1st quality check – stylistic editing
  5. Complete layout of images and final captions

A critical issue: how we solved it

The qualitative shortage of specialized terminology and the scarcity of established elements in the nomenclature of newly invented devices were among the reasons that with the previous supplier had led the client to change translation agency: in translating patents, our linguists this time were confronted with words that were new because they were coined for newly developed and launched products. For this new terms in the target language, in collaboration with engineers and product managers, and included them in the translated documentation so that they would also be official in the new market.

The added value for our client

Thanks to the good level of customization of the patent translation service, optimized by a double quality check cycle, the client – who later became a long-standing client of Mercury Translations – in the U.S. was able to complete its semiconductor patent filing procedures in the manner and on time, submitting documentation of impeccable quality. The level of satisfaction was very high, with excellent feedback coming from the various departments involved.


Confidentiality and data security in the management of confidential data is of fundamental importance in the Intellectual Property area.

Find out how Mercury protects your data in order to avoid any unauthorized tampering.

Read more

10 reasons to choose Mercury

For 25 years we have been providing professional translation services from law firms to large multinationals

Our team of translators and proofreaders are professionals specialised in different expertise areas

We provide professional translations in around 50 language combinations

Depending on the type of document to be translated, we have the pricing plan that best suits your needs

We are a high-tech company, from computer-aided translation to the latest generation of machine translation systems

In 25 years, we have gained considerable experience in different industries

Depending on the type of document, specific quality checks are performed to ensure the accuracy of the translation

All our procedures comply with the ISO 17100:2015 Standard

In the handling of received documents, a number of procedures are applied to protect the security and privacy of your data

Thanks to a team of around 1,500 translators and proofreaders, we are able to meet all kinds of needs in terms of delivery time

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