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Sunday 22 November 2009

José Carlos Vaz e Dias

Brazil Signs Agreement with England and Seeks Knowledge for the 2016 Olympic Games: Will the Existing Technology Transfer Framework Permit it?

The visit of the Brazilian President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva to Mr. Gordon Brown on November 4, 2009 at 10 Downing Street had the clear purpose of securing assistance and technology transfer for the organization of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Besides meeting the British Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell, a Cooperation Agreement was signed on the same day. This Agreement will allow the Brazilian Organizing Committee for the 2016 Olympic Games to have access to the experience and knowledge gathered by the British Olympic Organizers for 2012. The Brazilians are keen to learn about the impact of the Games to the environment and to the population. Therefore, the document aims to make possible the exchange of information between the countries and continuous visiting programs.

Further to that, the Brazilian government is very much interested in the effects and results of the British Act 1995 (OSPA) that protects the Olympic and Paralympic symbols, mottos and various works and the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006, as they have been recognized by the British government as indispensable instruments for funding the games.

The way ambush marketing will be dealt with in practical terms by the British is also a matter of great interest to the Brazilians, as the practice of false representation or any association, affiliation or similar relationship with the sports event has not been previously known locally.

Many people wonder whether this Cooperation Agreement and further conveyance of knowledge from British companies will really work out due to the existing technology transfer framework in Brazil. Limitations on foreign exchange controls, taxations, government approvals and difficulties in obtaining working visa permits still persist and are yet to be phased out due to the opening of the economy in the last 20 years and the good momentum Brazil lives.

Believe or not, such rules were implemented back in 1975 when Brazil was thriving for deeper industrialization and lived under a dictatorial government.

It seems nevertheless that technology transfer limitations will not apply to the organization of the 2016 Olympics, at least this is thought of IP scholars as Articles 2 and 3 of the Brazilian Olympic Act provide special treatment for foreign professionals coming to Brazil for the organization, planning and implementation of the Games.

Maybe the 2016 Olympic Games is a good opportunity for the Brazilian government to get rid of such outdated legislation to technology transfer. Who knows? This may be a clear skeptical answer to those who know that the main characteristic of the Brazilian government is the persisting life of the old despite the prevailing new ideas in economy and politics.

José Carlos Vaz e Dias

José Carlos Vaz e Dias