NEW YORK, Feb. 14, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Harris & Harris Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:TINY), an investor in transformative companies enabled by disruptive science, notes the announcement by its portfolio company, Molecular Imprints, Inc. ("MII"), that it has signed an agreement to sell its semiconductor imprint lithography equipment business to Canon Inc. of Tokyo, Japan. Canon began conducting research into nanoimprint technology in 2004 to enter the market for lithography equipment for leading-edge high-resolution patterning. Since 2009, Canon has been carrying out joint development with MII and a major semiconductor manufacturer for mass production using MII's Jet and Flash TM Imprint Lithography (J-FIL TM) technology. The press release announcing the acquisition can be found at http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/molecular-imprints-semiconductor-business-acquired-210000231.html. Harris & Harris Group invested a total of $4.6 million in MII beginning with its initial investment in 2004 and valued its securities of the company at $6.5 million as of September 30, 2013. Upon closing, Harris & Harris Group expects to receive approximately $7.0 million in proceeds from the sale, including amounts to be held in escrow. Harris & Harris Group could receive an additional $1.7 million upon the achievement of certain milestones. In addition to the merger agreement, a new spin-out company will be created that will keep its original "Molecular Imprints" name. This new company will continue development and commercialization of nanoscale patterning in consumer electronic and biomedical applications. It will have the advantage of capital, key personnel and rights jointly owned with Canon to MII's intellectual property portfolio, along with multiple system platforms. Harris & Harris Group will be a shareholder of this new company. "We are pleased to see the continued expansion of Molecular Imprint's success, now as part of Canon," said Alexei Andreev, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Harris & Harris Group. "We are also excited to see the continued development of Molecular Imprint's nanoscale patterning in key electronic and biomedical applications." "Our ability to de-risk technology profitably on behalf of the world's largest corporations is critical to our partnering success," added Douglas W. Jamison, Chief Executive Officer of Harris & Harris Group.