Panasonic and Leica announced the extension of their partnership within the digital camera market:
Panasonic Corporation and Leica Camera AG today announced they have extended their partnership agreement and agreed to expand and strengthen their technological cooperation in the digital camera field.The agreement includes the extension of license agreement for use of Leica's trademark on Panasonic's digital camera products as well as expansion and strengthening of technological cooperation between the two companies. Based on this agreement, Panasonic will be able to commercialize digital camera 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 digital camera 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 digital cameras 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 digital camera products with enhanced appeal to the global camera market. 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 digital cameras to further expand our business." 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."