Managing a New, Reduced Iron Steelmaking Process: Operations, Finance and the Risk of Patent Litigation
HATCH, an engineering consulting firm, owns the patent on a continuous steel processing technology that close-couples traditional steel processing with an innovative approach. Regression analysis will be conducted on a patent litigation data set to estimate the probability of patent litigation in the steel industry and forecast potential litigation costs. If the financial economics of the technology (determined by the group outside the scope of this proposed project) prove to be only tenuously positive, such a projected unexpected cost could conceivably turn a money-making technology into a net capital loss for HATCH. In short, the likelihood of litigation and its costs, though not trivial in calculation, must be considered by the company when determining the financial attractiveness of the CRISP technology. If large, litigation costs may lead HATCH to reassess is commercialization strategy. At the very least, the expected future value of these costs will need to be accounted for and budgeted accordingly.