Searching for synonyms and translations in foreign languages

WIPO's CLIR makes it possible to search for synonyms and to translate words in 13 languages.

For some years, WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) has been providing free public access to a patents database, Patentscope, which contains the PCT applications as well as worldwide national collections.
This tool has gradually become increasingly efficient because it employs advanced technologies like artificial intelligence.

Among the available functions is CLIR (Cross-Lingual Information Retrieval) for searching with multiple linguistic expansion. It makes it possible to search for a word or phrase as well as their variants in 13 languages. Just enter the word or phrase of interest in one language and the system searches for synonyms and variants of this word and automatically translates them into 12 other languages.

The system directly converts the result into a search equation in the patent database in different languages.

For example for the word 'bike':

According to WIPO, the quality of the dictionaries backing these translations is excellent for Chinese, English, French, German and Japanese, very good for Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish and good for Dutch, Italian, Swedish, Polish and Danish.

It is not necessary to explain all the possibilities and subtleties of the tool here: WIPO regularly organises very practical relevant webinars. The calendar can be seen at

CLIR is an essential tool for searching patents in Patentscope, but it can also be useful for transposing synonyms and translations for more precise and complete searches in other multilingual databases or even for Internet searches in languages unknown to the user.

Very useful for an in-depth watch!