Intellectual Property Licensing in Brazil
The licensing of intellectual property is a major part of business today in any country. Because few businesses operate out of one location, franchising and distribution is often necessary. To distribute intellectual property and goods to other people in Brazil without infringing on intellectual property and copyright laws, the property must be licensed. In short, intellectual property licensing is a promise made by the creator of the property not to sue the person using it under the licensing agreement. The person or business that owns the intellectual property and is lending it to someone else is called the licensor, and the person using the intellectual property is called the licensee. There are a few components to a licensing agreement that go beyond the arrangement itself. These include:
- Term: The term of a licensing agreement states how long it will remain in effect. If a licensee continues to use the intellectual property after the license has expired, he or she will be charged with copyright infringement. The term of the agreement also protects the licensee from price increases should the value of the property goes up over the course of the contract duration.
- Territory – When a licensing agreement is in effect, it pertains to a particular region or country. If a licensee agreed to distribute copyrighted goods in the United States, he or she is not entitled to distribute them in Brazil without infringing on copyright laws for example.
- Renewal Provisions – In some cases, a licensing agreement is temporary and cannot be renewed. In others, the agreement could be renewed an indefinite number of times. The renewal terms must be agreed upon before the agreement is made.
A popular type of intellectual property licensing is artwork and character licensing. Mickey Mouse, for example, might be licensed to many different companies. If an organization wanted to use Mickey Mouse to promote its upcoming event, doing so without a character license could result in a lawsuit. If Disney found out that their character was being used for profit, they could claim copyright infringement. However, if the organization decided to buy a character license from Disney for the duration of the event’s promotion, they would be protected from such a lawsuit. While the upfront cost of paying for a license might seem unnecessary, it is far less than the settlement that would come out of a lawsuit.
How to Protect your business
If you own a company and are looking to expand it through franchising or increased distribution in Brazil, you should speak with an attorney about the laws of licensing. Without licensing property, you could lose the rights to your intellectual property and your brand could be jeopardized. If another company was to misuse your logo or trademark for its own benefit, it would be very difficult to regain a good reputation. Speaking with an attorney about such agreements could benefit your company.