There was a rumor going around the web earlier today that Ricoh was losing the rights to use the legendary Pentax brand.
But that was quickly debunked by none other than Ricoh themselves who said in response to an inquiry by DPReview:
“No, [the rumor] is not a fact.
Hoya is the owner of the PENTAX trademark, but there are no restrictions or limitations attached for RICOH to use the PENTAX brand in the camera business.
We will continue to offer the PENTAX brand products including new items.”
The whole thing was kicked off by a rumor from a “trusted insider source” on the Pentax Rumors website back on March 20th of this year. And, in proof positive of how small rumors end up becoming a big deal sometimes, it emerged today as a trending topic and necessitated Ricoh’s response.
The original rumor stated: “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.”
As PetaPixel points out, it is true that Ricoh hasn’t really done anything since initially announcing the K-1 Mark II DSLR back in February 2018.
The rumor also relies upon a quirk in the structure of how the Pentax name is used. When HOYA sold the Pentax camera business to Ricoh the former agreed to use the Pentax brand for medical equipment while the latter was allowed to license it for camera products. The crux of the rumor implies that Ricoh will no longer license this brand past 2020 which would effectively be the end of the road for Pentax cameras as a brand.
But Ricoh says “no” and we will just have to run with that until something happens to change the situation.
Have you owned Pentax cameras? What do you think of Ricoh’s right to use the brand? Let us know your thoughts as always in the comments section below.