Ricoh could be poised to lose its right to use the Pentax trademark as soon as 2020, as rumours suggest the brand licensing agreement could be due to expire.
The speculation began after a respected member of the Pentax Forum, who has had a track record of valid inside information, wrote:
‘Pentax ownership belongs to HOYA, the right to use belongs to Ricoh, and the lease contract expires in 2020. Maybe this is why Ricoh does not continue to develop Pentax.’
Hoya, which owns the Pentax trademark, agreed the sale of the Pentax Imaging Systems Business with Ricoh back in 2011 for $124.2 million.
The sale was effectively a split of the Pentax imaging and medical businesses, with Hoya retaining the business dedicated to developing DVD pickup lenses, endoscopes, artificial bones and voice synthesis. Hoya originally purchased Pentax in 2008 in order to obtain this medical technology business.
It could very well be that Ricoh’s licensing agreement with Hoya ends next year; however, it would seem rather surprising to us if it isn’t renewed.
On the other hand, Ricoh hasn’t launched any new Pentax cameras in quite some time. The brand does effectively appear to be on pause.
What do you think – does Pentax have a future in the imaging business? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Via Pentax Rumors