Olympus America

Press Center

Olympus Licenses Digital Pathology Patents to Leica Microsystems

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., March 31, 2011 - Olympus America Inc. and Leica Microsystems GmbH of Wetzlar, Germany have signed a nonexclusive worldwide licensing agreement allowing Leica to access an extensive portfolio of patents held by Olympus in the field of digital pathology and virtual microscopy. The patents included in the licensing deal cover methods and equipment for creating, storing and delivering virtual microscopy slides. The technology enables individuals to view and share high-resolution virtual microscopy images over the Internet.

"We've seen interest in digital slide scanning grow rapidly over the past few years," said Osamu Joji, Group Vice President and General Manager of Olympus America's Scientific Equipment Group. "Olympus is the holder of these important patents, and we feel it is vital to allow broad access to these technologies in order to advance the field of pathology. Ultimately, we hope that implementing these technologies will help enhance healthcare for patients around the world."

"We believe digital slide scanning will be the fastest growing segment in microscopy for years to come. This license agreement will enable us to further expand our offering in this space, and to provide our customers around the world with a complete solution from digital scanning of microscopy slides to the handling and management of digital pathology data," said Stefan Traeger, Managing Director of Leica's Life Science Division.

The companies are not making specific terms and conditions of the agreement public.

About Olympus America Inc., Scientific Equipment Group
Olympus America Inc., Scientific Equipment Group provides innovative microscope imaging solutions for researchers, doctors, clinicians, engineers and educators. Olympus bioscience microscope systems offer unsurpassed optics, superior construction and system versatility to meet the ever-changing needs of microscopists, paving the way for future advances in life science. Olympus industrial microscopes and metrology systems play a leading role in precision R&D, engineering and manufacturing applications in fields as diverse as aerospace, the automotive industry, electronics, materials science/metallurgy, medical devices, photovoltaics and semiconductors.

About Olympus
Olympus is a precision technology leader, creating innovative opto-digital solutions in healthcare, life science and consumer electronics products. Olympus works collaboratively with its customers and its affiliates worldwide to leverage R&D investment in precision technology and manufacturing processes across diverse business lines. These include:

  • Gastrointestinal endoscopes, accessories, and minimally invasive surgical products;

    Advanced clinical and research microscopes;
  • Industrial research, engineering, test, inspection and measuring instruments; and
  • Digital cameras and voice recorders.

Olympus serves healthcare and commercial laboratory markets with integrated product solutions and financial, educational and consulting services that help customers to efficiently, reliably and more easily achieve exceptional results. Olympus develops breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality for the consumer and professional photography markets, and also is the leader in gastrointestinal endoscopy and clinical and educational microscopes. For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com.

About Leica Microsystems
Leica Microsystems is a world leader in microscopes and scientific instruments. Founded as a family business in the nineteenth century, the company's history was marked by unparalleled innovation on its way to becoming a global enterprise. Its historically close cooperation with the scientific community is the key to Leica Microsystems?tradition of innovation, which draws on users' ideas and creates solutions tailored to their requirements. At the global level, Leica Microsystems is organized in four divisions, all of which are among the leaders in their respective fields: the Life Science Division, Industry Division, Biosystems Division and Medical Division.

Leica Microsystems Biosystems Division, also known as Leica Biosystems, offers histopathology laboratories the most extensive product range with appropriate products for each work step in histology and for a high level of productivity in the working processes of the entire laboratory. The company is represented in over 100 countries with 12 manufacturing facilities in 7 countries, sales and service organizations in 19 countries and an international network of dealers. The company is headquartered in Wetzlar, Germany.