PLuTO (Patent Language Translations Online)

PLuTO (Patent Language Translations Online), funded under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP), will facilitate translation and cross-language retrieval of patent information.


The increase in IP protection activities in a large number of countries, particularly related to patents, has increased the difficulty for SMEs and individuals to enter new markets. These difficulties arise due to the costs of entering a market - in terms of prior art search and translation - and constitute a large risk. However, it is still a necessity as language differences are no excuse in cases of infringement.


PLuTO aims to overcome these language barriers by providing an integrated, online translation tool, where several human experts (technical, legal, consultants) can take advantage of existing web-content and state-of-the-art data-driven machine translation and information retrieval tools to collaboratively retrieve and translate patents.

PluTO will develop a rapid solution for patent search and translation by integrating a number of existing components and adapting them to the relevant domains and languages. The Centre for Next Generation Localisation brings to the target platform a state-of-the-art machine translation engine, MaTrEx, which exploits hybrid statistical, example-based and hierarchical techniques and has demonstrated high quality translation performance in a number of recent evaluation campaigns. ESTeam contributes a comprehensive translation software environment to the project, including server-based, multi-layered, multi-domain translation memory technology. Information retrieval expertise is provided by the Information Retrieval Facility which also provides access to its data on patent search use-cases and a large scale, multi-lingual patent repository. PLuTO will also exploit the use-case holistic machine translation expertise of CrossLang, who have significant experience in the evaluation of machine translation, while WON will be directly involved in all phases of development, providing valuable user feedback. The consortium also intends to collaborate closely with the European Patent Office in order to profit from their experience in this area.


PLuTO will also result in the commoditisation of domain-adaptable machine translation systems, making them more visible to potential users of such technology. This service will ultimately give rise to a more inclusive innovation society where individual inventors and SMEs have access to a large pool of international knowledge without language barriers.

CrossLang participation

CrossLang will use their expertise in the evaluation of machine translation to assess the quality of PLuTO MT, taking into account the application context and goals of the project.

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