Leica Camera AG and Panasonic Expand Partnership Agreement in the Digital Camera Sector

Leica Camera

Osaka, Japan /Wetzlar, Germany (September 19, 2014) – Leica Camera AG and Panasonic Corporation today announced they have extended their partnership agreement and agreed to expand and strengthen their technological cooperation in the digital camera (DSC) field.

The agreement includes the extension of license agreement for use of Leica's trademark on Panasonic’s DSC products as well as expansion and strengthening of technological cooperation between the two companies.

Based on this agreement, Panasonic will be able to commercialize DSC products with Leica lenses over the next five years, from October 2014 to September 2019 while Leica will be able through the expansion and strengthening of technological cooperation to utilize Panasonic's digital technology in its own product development. The agreement will allow both companies to boost product competitiveness by combining Leica's optical technology and Panasonic's digital technology.

The companies had signed a cooperative agreement for digital audiovisual equipment lenses in August 2000 and agreed to cooperate in the DSC sector in July 2001.

Since then, the companies have built up a cooperative relationship in optical technology and quality control, and brought high-performance and high-quality DSCs to the market by fusing Leica's superior optical technology with Panasonic's digital technologies such as image processing.

The technological cooperation newly agreed upon in this agreement will reinforce the partnership between the two companies, enabling them to accelerate the development of excellent DSC products with enhanced appeal to the global camera market.

Alfred Schopf, Chief Executive Officer of Leica Camera, said: “The signing of this agreement is significant for Leica as we seek further growth in the digital imaging sector. Strengthening our cooperative relationship with Panasonic is essential to Leica's continued growth.”

Yoshiyuki Miyabe, President of AVC Networks Company, an internal company of Panasonic, stated: “It is a great honor to be able to strengthen our bonds with Leica as a strategic partner. Panasonic will continue to incorporate Leica's century-worth of optical technologies and camera traditions into the DNA of Panasonic’s DSCs to further expand our business.”

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and engineering of electronic technologies and solutions for customers in residential, non-residential, mobility and personal applications. Since its founding in 1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates over 500 consolidated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.74 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2014. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company strives to create a better life and a better world for its customers. For more information about Panasonic, please visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/.

Leica Camera

Leica Camera – A Partner for Photography

Leica Camera AG is an international, premium manufacturer of cameras and sports optics. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is based on a long tradition of excellent quality, German craftsmanship and German industrial design, combined with innovative technologies. An integral part of the brand's culture is the diversity of activities the company undertakes for the advancement of photography. In addition to the Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies spread around the world, there are the Leica Hall of Fame Award and, in particular, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), which is considered one of the most innovative sponsorship awards existing today. Furthermore, Leica Camera AG, with its headquarters in Wetzlar, Hesse, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, has a worldwide network of its own national organisations and Leica Retail Stores.

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