Francis Gurry led WIPO as Director General from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2020.

WIPO Pearl Adds COVID-19 Terminology to Help Stimulate Innovation to Fight Pandemic; Will be Provided Free for Download and Use by Third Parties

Geneva, September 22, 2020
PR/2020/864

The WIPO Pearl terminology database has added some 1,500 new COVID-19-related terms in 10 languages, helping innovators targeting new coronavirus treatments and diagnostics with a baseline set of terms and their multilingual equivalents. This advancement will foster international collaboration and promote easier access to information in patent documents and other public resources produced around the world.

From today, WIPO Pearl now contains 147 key concepts related to COVID-19, amounting to nearly 1,500 terms as each concept is given in 10 languages. They are primarily drawn from the fields of biology, medicine (especially epidemiology and diagnostics), and public health and each concept is provided in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish, which are also the official languages of WIPO’s International Patent System. The aim is to help provide consistency and clarity across different languages regarding key terminology of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Innovation is increasingly global in nature, so a verified multilingual set of commonly understood COVID-19-related terms creates a knowledge base that helps researchers access and build upon work created in another language,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “WIPO is providing this upgraded service in support of the global drive to find new treatments and vaccines for the coronavirus, which is the quintessential global challenge requiring mutual comprehension and cooperation.”

These COVID-19 terms are available in the WIPO Pearl database, which contains nearly 200,000 terms in total on subjects ranging from biopesticides, chatbots and green chemistry to nanosatellites, quantum computing and virtual reality. The terms also exist in a separate stand-alone glossary on the WIPO Pearl website. The glossary is divided into topics and, within each topic, concepts are listed according to the relations among them. This allows related concepts to be viewed together and helps to understand how they are associated – something that would not be possible with an alphabetical listing.

The glossary also contains links to the full terminology record in WIPO Pearl for each concept, where definitions, multilingual equivalents, contexts illustrating term usage and meaning, and term reliability scores can be found, as well as “concept maps” which graphically and dynamically depict how each concept relates to other concepts.

The collection of COVID-19 terms is also linked to PATENTSCOPE: a one-click search launched either from the glossary or from the WIPO Pearl application (Linguistic Search or Concept Map Search) that allows any patents containing these terms, in any of the 10 languages, to be easily retrieved. A researcher could, for example, start with an English term and, by using the validated equivalents for the term in other languages, be able to retrieve relevant patents in up to nine other languages.

Since these COVID-19 terms are of particular relevance currently, WIPO has made them available for free download. Users may access a .pdf file containing the terms in all of the languages and a definition in English for each concept, or an .xml file that allows the collection of COVID-19 terminology to be integrated into other applications, such as computer-assisted translation software or data mining tools.

Seventy bilingual terminology records (200 terms) in the collection were provided by students at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. WIPO-PCT language experts provided the remaining 77 records in the collection and added 1,300 terms in different languages to ensure that all 147 concepts are provided in all 10 languages of WIPO Pearl. Further concepts will be added to the collection in the coming months.

More about WIPO Pearl

WIPO Pearl was launched in 2014 to promote accurate and consistent use of scientific and technical terms across the ten languages of publication of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the WIPO-administered International Patent System, making it easier to search and share scientific and technical knowledge across different languages. The database, developed by experienced WIPO language experts and terminologists, now contains over 190,000 terms. The interface is available in 10 languages and also in a mobile-friendly form.

Scientific and technical terms can be searched in 45 different language combinations, offering the possibility to search between European and Asian languages, as well as between any of these languages and Arabic. This makes WIPO Pearl unique amongst the current offering of language resources available freely on the Web. Knowledge-rich contexts are provided for each term to help illustrate what it means and how it is used.

Also unique to WIPO Pearl are Concept Maps, which allow the user to browse domain knowledge by exploring links between concepts. These links have been researched and manually entered by WIPO terminologists to show concepts that are broader or narrower in scope than other concepts. Users also have the option to exploit information displayed in subsets of Concept Maps - so-called Concept Paths - to conduct combined keyword searches in PATENTSCOPE, WIPO’s patent database. PATENTSCOPE can also be accessed directly from the hit-list of results obtained by conducting a traditional search by term in the Linguistic Search interface.

In addition to providing human-built Concept Maps, WIPO Pearl leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to generate so-called Concept Clouds - suggested new clusters of relations between concepts. WIPO Pearl is the first terminology database to feature such an innovation.

WIPO Pearl is also integrated with WIPO Translate, WIPO’s internally developed machine translation engine featuring innovative AI neural machine translation technology, so as to offer the user machine-translated suggestions when a term is not available in one of the target languages.

An ever-growing network of partners worldwide, including universities and government bodies, now helps to populate WIPO Pearl with new terms, whilst subject field experts in the partner institutions check the accuracy of terms in their field of specialization and raise the term reliability score.

About WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society's evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.

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