Ricoh and Taisei Join Eco-Patent Commons

DuPont Contributes Additional Eco-Friendly Patents

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GENEVA - 22 Mar 2009: Ricoh Company, Ltd., a global leader in office solutions, and Taisei Corporation, a leading engineering construction company, have joined the Eco-Patent Commons, a first-of-a-kind business effort coordinated by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to help the environment by pledging environmentally beneficial patents to the public domain.

The environmentally friendly patents being pledged by Ricoh and Taisei include:

In addition to the patents contributed by the newest members of the Eco-Patent Commons, DuPont, who joined the initiative and pledged four patents last fall, has pledged seven more patents for refrigerant materials that could reduce ozone depletion to preserve the environment.

"The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is delighted that more companies have decided to join this initiative," said Björn Stigson, president of the WBCSD. "By making their patents available in this way, companies are helping in areas such as energy efficiency and conservation, waste reduction and recycling. These latest pledges show that, even in financially difficult times, business has a strong commitment to contributing to a sustainable world."

Eco-Patent Commons, launched by IBM (NYSE: IBM), Nokia, Pitney Bowes and Sony in partnership with the WBCSD, was founded on the commitment that anyone who wants to bring environmental benefits to market can use these patents to protect the environment and enable collaboration between businesses that foster new innovations.

Since the launch of the Eco-Patent Commons in January 2008, almost a hundred eco-friendly patents have been pledged by nine companies representing a variety of industries worldwide: Bosch, DuPont, IBM, Nokia, Pitney Bowes, Ricoh, Sony, Taisei and Xerox. Many of them have been directly contacted about their patents. For example, Yale University has used one of the pledged patents by IBM to substitute a toxic developer with an environmentally preferable solvent mixture of alcohol and water for their quantum computing device research.

Pledged patent by Ricoh
Ricoh pledged a patent that effectively reduces waste of image device cartridges. These removable cartridges are widely used in various imaging devices, such as copy machines, printers and fax machines. The technology allows cartridges to be recycled safely by counting the number of times of use and alerting a user if a cartridge exceeds its duration limit.

Pledged patents by Taisei
Taisei has pledged two patents, one of which provides an environmentally friendly green space construction method solution to improve water quality. Taisei's technology offers a low cost solution to improve water quality by using porous concrete blocks to construct a green space surrounded by water. By using porous water-permeable concrete blocks to build an outer frame for a green space, environmental pollutants are degraded by the microorganisms that live in the porous blocks to improve water quality. The other patent involves a shallow water purification method that can purify shallow water regions of lakes and reservoirs by pumping air through tubes to create water circulation in shallow water regions to help maximize water purification effect.

Pledged patents by DuPont
DuPont pledged seven patents which provide environmentally superior refrigerants for use in refrigeration and air conditioning. These fluorocarbon alternative solutions are useful in products employing a centrifugal compressor, such as automobile air conditioners or other cooling systems. These materials reduce or eliminate the potential for ozone depletion and global warming as compared to current refrigerants.

Patents pledged to the Eco-Patent Commons may involve innovations directly related to environmental solutions or may be innovations in manufacturing or business processes where the solution also provides an environment benefit, such as pollution prevention or the more efficient use of materials or energy.

Membership in the Eco-Patent Commons is open to all individuals and companies willing to pledge their patents. The selection and submission of each organization's patents for pledging is at the organization's discretion. The pledged portfolio and the instructions on how to become a member are available on a dedicated, public Web site hosted by the WBCSD at

Member companies and the WBCSD invite other interested companies to become members of the Eco-Patent Commons and participate in this initiative promoting innovation and collaboration to help protect the planet.

About Ricoh
A global leader in digital office solutions, Ricoh creates new value at the interface of people and information, offering a broad range of digital, networked products, including MFPs, printers, fax machines, semiconductor related products and digital cameras. Ricoh is also one of the world's leading environmentalist companies, committed to sustainable business everywhere. For more information, please visit

About Taisei Corporation
Taisei Corporation is one of the oldest and largest engineering construction companies in the world, offering a diverse range of services in the design and construction industries. For more information, please visit

About DuPont
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation. For more information, please visit

About the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development brings together some 200 international companies in a shared commitment to sustainable development through economic growth, ecological balance and social progress. Members are drawn from more than 30 countries and 20 major industrial sectors. The WBCSD also benefits from a global network of about 60 national and regional business councils and partner organizations. Its mission is to provide business leadership as a catalyst for change toward sustainable development, and to support the business license to operate, innovate and grow in a world increasingly shaped by sustainable development issues.

About IBM
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