Valdir Rocha, of Veirano Advogados, has been the GALA member from Brazil for 9 years. He was recently elected to be the next Vice-Chairman of GALA for a three-year-term starting on January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2015.
Valdir was born in Belo Horizonte and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Valdir’s generation experienced lack of free speech and democracy for twenty years during the Military Regime in Brazil and participated in peaceful demonstrations to fight for amnesty, free elections and for the impeachment of President Collor de Melo, whose administration was involved with corruption. This experience shaped Valdir’s aspirations for being an enthusiast of free speech.
As a teenager, he went to Auburn, Washington, as an American Field Service (AFS) student. While in the US, he met people from 170 countries during their training at C.W. Post College in Long Island. As a result of this experience he decided to become a diplomat and upon his return to Brazil started studying French and Law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, while working at the main offices of AFS in Rio.
He left his job to become a trainee at the IP boutique of Daniel & Cia., where he met his wife. He worked at Daniel & Cia. for ten years and became the coordinator of the Trademark Department.
Baker & Mckenzie hired Valdir as a local partner in 1990, and in 1996 he left their network to start, with five other partners, Veirano Advogados, under the leadership of Ronaldo Veirano, one of the best-known international lawyers in Brazil. The group of 23 lawyers who formed Veirano has grown to 270 in 2012. After 21 years leading the firm’s IP, advertising and franchising practice, he was able to build a strong team with 40 professionals, including lawyers, patent engineers and consultants, representing mid-size and large Brazilian and multinational corporations.
His hobbies are literature, poetry, cinema, biking, and gastronomy. In 2011, Valdir founded the Rio de Janeiro IP Lawyers’ Gastronomy Association, which meets once a month for a harmonized dinner in different restaurants. He also has a passion for travel, having visited over 270 cities in all continents, including remote areas such as Fire Land (Patagonia), Teahupoo (French Polynesia), Easter Island (Chile), Mala Mala (South Africa), Northern Norway, the Amazon rivers and the Andes.
Valdir is the author of many articles on advertising, franchising and IP law; a frequent speaker at GALA, ANA, INTA, ASIPI and IBA conferences and a co-author of 17 International Annual Reviews of Trademark Jurisprudence, published by INTA; a Poetry Anthology of the Rio de Janeiro Lawyers and organizer and co-author of the book “Law and the Internet” (O Direito e a Internet), published by Forense Universitária.
He intends to use the know-how obtained from being a member of the Boards of the Brazilian Intellectual Property Association (ABPI), the Brazilian Industrial Property Agents Association (ABAPI); INTA’s Editorial Board; IBA’s Franchising and IP Committees; AIPPI’s Membership Committee and Managing Partner of Veirano Advogados for two years, to help GALA achieve new goals and new members in the coming years.