For foreign tech companies doing business in Brazil, the Brazilian Superior Court of Justice (STJ) recently released a compilation of its recent decisions involving the actions of users on the Internet.
It is important to highlight that such decisions are not restricted to companies that operate online (such as e-commerces and digital platforms), but also to companies from other segments that, in some way, use the Internet as a marketing and advertising tool.
See below some points of attention, based on what was decided by the STJ in such cases:
1. Companies that provide Internet application services in Brazil (that is, any company that provides functionalities accessed via the Internet) must comply with the Brazilian legal system, even if they do not have a branch in Brazil or store data in the cloud.
2. The hiring of sponsored links (for advertising) may constitute unfair competition when used to purchase a keyword corresponding to the registered trademark or business name of a competing company.
3. Using the brand as a keyword to direct consumers to a competitor’s link constitutes fraud of diverting customers.
4. In case of unfair competition, material damages are presumed and may be liquidated/calculated in court.
It is important that companies are aware of the guidelines that the STJ defined in such cases, to avoid conducts that could give rise to the risk of legal actions and convictions.