Qr Code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The “QR” is derived from “Quick Response”, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed. QR Codes are common in Japan where they are currently the most popular type of two dimensional code. Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR Codes are now used in a much broader context spanning both commercial tracking applications as well as convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile phone users. QR Codes storing addresses and URLs may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards or just about any object that a user might need information about. A user having a camera phone equipped with the correct reader software can scan the image of the QR Code causing the phone’s browser to launch and redirect to the programmed URL. This act of linking from physical world objects is known as a hardlink or physical world hyperlinks. A user can also generate and print their own QR Code for others to scan and use by visiting one of several free QR Code generating sites. The Japanese standard for QR Codes, JIS X 0510, was released in January of 1999, and a corresponding ISO International Standard, ISO/IEC 18004, was approved in June of 2000. The standard was updated in 2006 (ISO/IEC 18004:2006).
“QR Code is open in the sense that the specification of QR Code is disclosed and that the patent right owned by Denso Wave is not exercised.”-from the Denso Wave website. The Japanese version of that site goes on to state, however, that the term QR Code itself is trademarked and that any publication or website using it must also include text that says “QR code is trademarked by Denso Wave, inc.”
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