Strategic patenting in the upstream oil and gas industry: assessing the impact of the pre-salt discovery on patent applications in Brazil
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For most of its history, Brazil needed to import oil to complement its internal production to supply the internal demand. However, in 2007, the Brazilian Federal Government announced the discovery of huge hydrocarbon resources in the pre-salt layer of the country's Southeastern coast. This study examines the impact of this discovery accomplished by Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) on patent applications in Brazil associated with upstream oil and gas technologies. Then, this article provides empirical evidence that the pre-salt discovery significantly affected patent strategizing of Multi-Nationals Companies (MNCs) operating in the upstream oil and gas industry, thereby generating a boom in patent filings in Brazil from the official pre-salt announcement onwards.