ZEISS’ Freeform Progressive Technology Patents Granted In Japan

The Japanese Patent Office has granted ZEISS two patents covering certain types of back-surface freeform progressive lenses and processes by which they are made

The Japanese Patent Office has granted ZEISS two patents that cover certain types of back-surface freeform progressive lenses and also the process in which they are made. The patent includes type of progressive lenses whose front surfaces are rotationally symmetric with the back-surface progressive design determined by the individual prescriptions alone or in combination with other customisation options.

The patented technology

“The back surface freeform lens technology covered by our patents has been an important innovation with implications for the manufacture of quality ophthalmic lenses and the delivery of superior visual solutions to the market,” says Rolf Beyersdoerfer, President of Carl Zeiss Japan. “This proprietary freeform technology that has been changing industry standards for years now, is patented in many major markets and also licensed to major lens companies,” he adds.

“ZEISS has been providing freeform solutions to its customers for many years through our Customer Enablement Business,” says Dr Raymund Heinen, President and CEO of ZEISS Vision Care, “We partner with each customer to develop personalized enablement solutions encompassing equipment, process, lens products and designs, dispensing solutions, services, training and ongoing support. Our offer includes ZEISS branded, non-branded and private label solutions,” he reveals. The back-surface freeform progressive technology covered by ZEISS patents is a key enabler of the customized progressive lens revolution. In 2012 and 2013 ZEISS licensed the Essilor Group, Hoya, Rodenstock and other major lens companies to practice the innovative proprietary Freeform Progressive Lens Technology. ZEISS is open to discussing further licensing of these patents for parties that are interested in taking a license to this technology.

Freeform technology allows the production of complex lens designs on a lens-by-lens basis. Sophisticated equipment can surface directly onto the back side of a lens blank. Previously, progressive lenses could only be manufactured in a complex, high volume production environment. “The advancement and ready availability of freeform technology has made production of progressive lenses at the prescription laboratory level a reality and thus transformed the way progressive lenses are made as well as the way they are individually custom designed,” says Dr Heinen. “ZEISS has been a leader in driving this technology and innovating related business models for nearly twenty years,” he further elaborates.


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