If you’re doing business in Brazil or have expanded your business to a branch in Brazil, you might want certain trade secrets protected. Trade secrets in Brazil are formulas or methods that your business has discovered that gives you an edge over your competitors. In many countries, you can protect this method and avoid giving it out to other companies. Many trade secrets in the United States are recipes for name brands. If competing companies learned the recipes, the products would taste the same and consumers would no longer have a favorite brand. Clearly, stealing trade secrets to better your own business is illegal and companies can be protected against it in different ways. In Brazil though, trade secrets are protected differently than in the United States. If you plan on doing business in Brazil, you should learn how the law regardingtrade secrets works.
Brazilian Laws Regulating Trade Secrets
In Brazil, the law that protects trade secrets does not give you or your business special ownership of the rights. Instead, the law is meant to prevent the trade secret from becoming public information to prevent unfair competition. In other words, it doesn’t matter who owns the trade secret, or who discovered it. If a business has a trade secret and it is discovered, there will be unfair competition in the marketplace, which is a major concern in Brazil. If another company steals the trade secret that was developed by your company, you can make a claim for damages and losses that arise when your business no longer has the advantage.
The term “trade secret” is not even a part of Brazilian law, so it will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. A trade secret can pertain to almost any area of legal concern, such as:
- Technological trade secrets – If your business uses a certain technology to develop or enhance your unique products or services, such technology can be protected.
- Administrative Trade Secrets – In some cases, a business might have a unique way of managing its staff or training people that give it a competitive advantage. Such administrative methods are protected as trade secrets.
- Economic Trade Secrets – If you developed or discovered a special way to handle your company’s money, the idea might be considered a trade secret.
Not All Secrets Qualify as Trade Secrets
Some information will not be qualified as a trade secret, even if it does give your business a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Trade secrets involving information that has been obtained illegally will not be protected under Brazilian law. If someone skilled in the art could easily discover the trade secret, it will also not be protected by trade secret law, as it is not really a secret at all.
Trade secrets are more heavily protected in other countries, but it doesn’t mean that Brazil does not protect them at all. Many commercial laws in Brazil are aimed at preventing antitrust and keeping a good amount of competition in the marketplace, so trade secrets are protected accordingly. If you are wondering whether or not one of your trade secrets will be protected if your business moves to Brazil, a qualified attorney will be able to help.