If you have created any type of intellectual property anywhere in the world, it is important you copyright it. Without a copyright, someone could steal your idea and become your competitor, potentially putting you out of business. When you have a great business or product idea, the thought of someone else profiting from it can be devastating. If you are planning on doing business in Brazil but your company is located in the United States, it is important that you understand both Brazilian and US copyright laws. Copyright laws in the United States are slightly more intuitive to people who grew up there, since they are plausible and align with similar ones. However, copyright law in Brazil varies quite a bit, so you should consider speaking with an attorney about Brazilian copyright law once you have a basic understanding.
Even if your idea is copyrighted in the United States, you might consider having it copyrighted in Brazil as well. Some issues encompassed by copyright law include:
- Copyright Protections: Copyright law dictates what can be protected and how. If you have any type of intellectual property you would like to copyright, you should first learn the methods of protection and decide which would work best for your specific product or business idea
- Burdens of Proof: When something is copyrighted, people might try to copy it without technically infringing on the copyright. Copyright law defines the burdens of proof, which means it outlines what ways the copyright can be broken. For example, if someone uses your logo but changes a single color, will the copyright apply? The burdens of proof must be defined with the copyright.
- Infringement Actions: When a copyright is infringed upon, there needs to be a plan of action in place. Copyright law indicates what will happen when a copyright is broken. The person who infringed upon the copyright might simply owe a fine or be imprisoned.
- Damages: Many of Brazilian’s court rulings are based on how bad the damages were. If a copyright infringement simply inconveniences the original owner, the punishment may not be as bad as if the infringement ruined a business. Under copyright law in Brazil, damages will be taken into consideration.
- Copyright Licensing: If you create a copyrighted logo, idea, character or product, you might want to license it out eventually. When you license it, you can distribute it to other companies so that they can use it and promote your business for you. Copyright law covers the process of licensing, which can be complex.
- Duration and Renewal: When you create your copyright, you need to determine how long it lasts. Antitrust issues come into play if your copyright lasts too long, so you will need to make such decisions under the guidelines set forth by Brazilian copyright law.
Protecting your business
Making sure your products and ideas are copyrighted could save your business someday, so it’s important to do it correctly the first time. Copyright law in Brazil differs from that in the United States, so you should consider speaking with a professional and learning exactly how the law works. Not doing so could force you into a compromising situation for your business.