Full citation

Barros, H. M. (2015). "Exploring the use of patents in a weak institutional environment: The effects of innovation partnerships, firm ownership, and new management practices." Technovation 45–46: 63-77.

Format: Peer-reviewed article

Type: Non-experimental study

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Annotation:  In Brazil, manufacturers rely mostly on trademarks, secrecy, industrial design, and patents to protect intellectual property. This study shows higher instances of patenting among multinational firms than domestic ones. Patenting is difficult for weak institutions, particularly in countries with highly formal patenting processes which do not prioritize creators’ rights. These companies sometimes develop novel management methods to manage intellectual property such as knowledge management and changing operational structure although these strategies have mixed results.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: Federal Lab, Government, Large business, Small business, University.

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Policy makers, Brokers, Manufacturers, Developers, Intermediaries, and Researchers.

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Basic

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model

Primary findings


  • Fear of unintended knowledge spillovers motivates firms to guard all aspects of a discovery and patent protectively.
    Questionnaire analysis
    Occurrences within the model: NtK 4.1, 4.4
  • Novel management changes in lieu of legal intellectual property protections are correlated with fewer patents. Techniques like strategy re-alignment and changing organizational structure are not recommended as means to increase patenting.
    Questionnaire analysis
    Occurrences within the model: NtK 4.1, 4.4, KTA 3.C


Firms accustomed to patent protection are less fearful of sharing relationships and more likely to engage in partnerships.
Questionnaire analysis
Occurrences within the model:  NtK 4.1, 4.4