Even though it was expected, when the coronavirus pandemic arrived in Brazil it brought many changes to all people and sectors of the economy.

The Brazilian government had to establish various health and economic measures to prevent the health system from collapsing and to mitigate the depressive effects of social isolation, in particular by providing the poorest people with financial support. However, despite these laudable efforts at the federal level, the deployment of social distancing has been hampered due to divergent measures taken by governors and mayors, that are sending mixed signals to the population.

With respect to our firm, Di Blasi, Parente & Associates, since the beginning of the pandemic we have been concerned with the wellbeing of our staff members, while continuing to serve our clients with excellent and highly personalised services.

In this regard, we were one of the first IP law firms in Brazil to implement the full home office system, as of the beginning of March, to protect our members and their families as much as possible. Consequently, all our services continue to be provided normally.

This full home office system was only possible because there was already a full IT structure planned to support 100% of our needs. Therefore, everyone has continued to have complete access to their workstations, through a secure VPN connection, using technology based on SSL encryption, already covered in our solutions. Also, the information technology team, working remotely, increased their hours of operation in the first weeks, when there were higher spikes in requests and adaptations to the model.

The mental health of our professionals is just as important as staff members’ access to the technology needed to enable effective communication and high quality of service to our clients. For this reason, our human resources team set up an online magazine, the “DBPA Talks”, as a people management tool, with news of everyday affairs and several campaigns, aiming to integrate and motivate the staff. Furthermore, every day the HR team, including psychologists, makes individual contact with each person, to learn how each one is facing the current situation. The purpose is to provide psychological support, comfort and security to all professionals.

Other measures being taken in response to this pandemic, include:

  1. The establishment of a crisis committee, with the participation of the heads of operational departments of the firm, in order to map all the needs and solutions of the issues that arise due to pandemic
  2. The decision to not fire anyone, providing employees with peace of mind
  3. Bi-weekly digital publication of a journal with technical articles about Covid-19
  4. Setting up a weekly free hotline to resolve doubts related to the pandemic
  5. Weekly webinars related to Covid-19, featuring discussions with government at all levels, companies and our clients
  6. The launch of a marketing campaign called “protect yourself”, providing business protection tips
  7. Donations to various entities, such as charities focused on the elderly, hospitals and poorer communities.

With respect to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the National Industrial Property Institute (Brazilian PTO), it has suspended all deadlines. Nevertheless, its people are working normally, also remotely.

Despite all the efforts to adapt to this new reality and to protect our loved ones, the only certainty that remains is the expectation of better days ahead and in the end, we will be stronger.

Next steps

How FICPI makes IP attorneys more effective

As a worldwide membership organisation built over a strong shared interest, FICPI helps build relationships and learn from independent IP attorneys across continents. Coronavirus measures vary by country and FICPI has been sharing information about how member firms have tackled working from home, plus tips for remote management, reassuring staff and ensuring continuity of service are being shared with the community through webinars, blogs and newsletter articles.