My business: Marina Castro dos Santos, Vaz e Dias Advogados & Associados

Head of Patent, Industrial Design and Software Marina Castro dos Santos takes Energy Focus behind the scenes at Vaz e Dias

Marina Castro dos Santos. CREDIT Foto Alexandre Campbell

Can you tell us a little about Vaz e Dias?

Vaz e Dias Advogados & Associados is a law firm specialising in intellectual property law. We help companies to safeguard their intangible assets, while also providing legal support for commercial transactions geared towards exploiting intellectual knowledge and technological innovations.

As Brazilian firms increasingly engage in the global market, it has become imperative to ensure the protection of intangible assets in key foreign jurisdictions. Consequently, Vaz e Dias has expanded operations internationally, acquiring expertise in diverse legal systems to effectively serve clients in trademark and patent protection across major global markets.


patents and innovation team - credit_supplied


How is a day in your role?

My daily responsibilities involve overseeing our Patent and Innovation team, ensuring our solutions align with both national and international patent, industrial design, and software filing standards. This presents several challenges, particularly in fostering strong bonds in the team to facilitate professional growth and relationships.

I also engage in frequent meetings with local and foreign businesses to draft strategies for protecting technological advances through patents, utility models and confidentiality measures. These strategies are crucial given the protection restrictions on the Brazilian law to certain technologies and also the local practice.

What are your daily challenges?

Processing the large volume of information we receive from different clients concerning various technologies. We allocate specialised teams to each project, according to the specific technical area of each invention or new development, ensuring adherence to local authorities’ strict deadlines.

Challenges intensify when clients present cases with short notice, requiring swift and strategic action to safeguard their assets. Collaborating with global companies also demands adaptability in our approach to communication. Despite the complexities, this endeavour enriches our relationships and broadens our understanding of cultures.

What’s your favourite part of working at Vaz e Dias?

The people. I also enjoy the complex patents, designs or software application cases we receive. We have a cohesive, proactive and responsive team that collaborates seamlessly, particularly when tackling complex cases.

What has been your greatest achievement as a Vaz e Dias employee?

My proudest achievement was spearheading the establishment of a multi-disciplinary patent team comprising internally trained technical experts with a unique culture of intellectual property.

I implemented a ‘scrum’ case management approach, similar to startup growth strategies, to enhance our patent team’s performance. Despite its origins in software development, this adaptable strategy proved effective at quickly establishing a high-performing multi-disciplinary team. It provided the authority and decision-making needed for navigating the complexities of patent work.

This initiative led to a threefold increase in the annual performance of our patents and innovation department, along with a rise in our national and international client base. These accomplishments culminated in international recognition, notably being featured in The Patent Lawyer magazine’s top 10 firms in the patents and innovation sector since 2019.

logo credit - supplied

What has changed since your first day at Vaz e Dias?

Team management. The emergence of the pandemic and remote work underscored the importance of adaptation. Rapid technological advances and the deluge of information required us to rethink team management. My approach has shifted significantly to meet these challenges and deliver results. Customer demands have also grown more complex, requiring continual learning and integration of new services into our operations. Amid this fast-paced environment, interconnected services and comprehensive solutions are imperative for meeting customer needs.

Image credit | Alexandre Campbell | Supplied