Research Frontiers (Nasdaq: REFR) and NSG UMU Products Co., Ltd. announced that UMU Products has acquired a license from Research Frontiers Inc. to produce and sell SPD-SmartGlass architectural intelligent products throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan. The non-exclusive license grants UMU Products, a subsidiary of world-leading glass manufacturer Nippon Sheet Glass, the right to manufacture and sell SPD-SmartGlass products including windows, doors, solar shading screens, curtainwalls, skylights and other intelligent smart glass architectural products. The license provides for a 15% royalty to Research Frontiers on sales of licensed SPD-SmartGlass products. The minimum annual royalties and other fees and license terms were not disclosed.
Research Frontiers is the developer and licensor of patented SPD-Smart light-control film technology. SPD-Smart light-control film transforms widely used products – windows, skylights and more – into products that instantly and precisely control the light, glare and heat entering a home, office, or vehicle. SPD-SmartGlass is instantly tunable to an infinite number of light transmission states regardless of window size, and easily adapts to individual preferences using control devices ranging from dimmer switches and photosensors, to those that are integrated into smart homes or intelligent office control and building management systems. The unequalled performance characteristics of SPD-SmartGlass help optimize energy-saving daylight harvesting benefits and many other desired outcomes such as increased security, noise reduction and protection from harmful ultraviolet light.
Yuichi Yano, President of UMU Products, noted: “Because of our prior experience with SPD-SmartGlass in the automotive industry for Mercedes, and our expertise with liquid crystal windows, we have gained tremendous experience with the efficient production and reliability of SPD-SmartGlass products. We bring this expertise, combined with the benefits of SPD-SmartGlass, to our customers for various applications, including some in the works right now which will be industry firsts.”
Joseph M. Harary, President and CEO of Research Frontiers, noted: “We have worked closely with NSG and UMU for years though their involvement with Nippon Sheet Glass, which owns Pilkington. Pilkington currently supplies Mercedes with the SPD-SmartGlass MAGIC SKY CONTROL roofs for the Mercedes SLC and SL Roadsters. They have also brought many high-performing and elegant architectural glass products to the market, and we look forward to the new uses for SPD-SmartGlass that they are working on with their customers. Some of these products add complimentary technologies and materials to bring to the consumer the benefits of SPD-SmartGlass in new, unique and highly visible ways. As a film-based dimmable glass technology, SPD-SmartGlass is an enabling technology that can serve as the foundation for products that deliver unprecedented additional benefits using complementary innovative technologies. We are excited for consumers to see what NSG, UMU and their customers are working on using SPD-SmartGlass technology.”