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SATO Acquires Magellan Technology

The company says it will complete its acquisition of Magellan's health-care business, along with all intellectual properties, by early next month.
By Paul Prince
Nov 29, 2013

SATO, a Japan-based provider of automatic identification and data collection (AIDC) solutions using bar-code and RFID technologies, announced this week that it is acquiring Australian RFID company Magellan Technology, the inventor of RFID technology known as Phase Jitter Modulation (PJM). SATO and Magellan have reached a final agreement, and SATO expects to complete its acquisition of Magellan's health-care business, along with all intellectual properties, by early December 2013.

Magellan will cease to exist once the acquisition is complete, and SATO plans to retire the Magellan brand name and begin marketing PJM products under its own brand. In addition, SATO intends to market the PJM products more aggressively in other parts of the world besides Japan and Australia—particularly in the United States and Europe.

"We will market SATO health-care traceability solutions with PJM technology, focusing in the orthopedic implant sector, globally," says SATO spokesperson Daphne Tay. To absorb the acquisition, the company has established SATO Vicinity Pty Ltd., a subsidiary in New South Wales, Australia.

Magellan Technology invented the Phase Jitter Modulation protocol in 1994, and Magellan's 13.56 MHz tags and readers are the only ones that employ PJM as the transmission method between readers and tags. The protocol and command structure, according to Magellan, allows PJM-based RFID systems to be at least 10 times faster and more robust than all other RFID systems. In 2004, Magellan's patented PJM technology became the internationally recognized standard, known as ISO 18000 Part 3 Mode 2.

A number of health-care companies have used Magellan's tags and readers to track implantable medical devices, including Biomet and Zimmer (see Biomet Tags Its Orthopedic Knees and Children's Hospital Boston Joins Others Using RFID to Track Implantables).

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