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The following is an unedited press release, shown as received from the company represented. We've elected to present selected releases without editorial comment, as a way to provide our readers more information without further overtaxing our limited editorial resources. To avoid any possible confusion or conflict of interest, the Imaging Resource will always clearly distinguish between company-provided press releases and our own editorial views and content.

ConeColor Inks. PRESS RELEASE: Vermont PhotoInkjet introduces an eco-friendly ink alternative for EPSON® Ultrachrome™ K3 printers.

New ConeColor 100% color pigment formula replicates color space while alleviating the strain on
the environment caused by one-time-use cartridges.

EAST TOPSHAM, Vermont. January 30, 2008: Vermont PhotoInkjet announced today the immediate availability of ConeColor inks for EPSON Ultrachrome K3 printers. These 100% pigment, high-performance inks are packaged in economical 4, 16 and 32 ounce bottles and sold with a set of eco-friendly, refillable, lifetime cartridges. This solution is simple to use and will save the average user 65% or more of their current ink costs. The savings to the environment is even greater. ConeColor ink shares the same pigment technology as Piezography® K7 inks which makes them extremely fade resistant and non-damaging to EPSON print heads. Because Vermont PhotoInkjet carefully matched the color-space of the OEM inks, users can slip ConeColor inks right into their current EPSON color workflow.

Vermont PhotoInkjet's President Jon Cone points to his son's efforts to have a low-impact on the environment as his overwhelming decision to bring ConeColor to market in a "green" manner. "Spencer asked what I was doing to prevent my customers from throwing out their cartridges into landfills. He also brought my attention to the health effects of factory workers who make semiconductor chips which is a very toxic manufacturing process." Cone added "I wanted to create a perfect eco-friendly solution for my customers rather than be part of the problem."

Instead of selling cartridges for one-time use, ConeColor is marketing its new inks for use in a set of high-impact ABS refillable cartridges for the EPSON 4800, 7800 and 9800 printers and a set of easily refillable cartridges for the EPSON 2400 desktop printer. These carts are all easily filled from a bottle and their semiconductor chips are simply reset with an included chip re-setter. Alternatively, consumers can purchase a bulk ink delivery CIS system for their EPSON 2400 printer that is conveniently replenished from an attached bottles system.

According to the latest research by InfoTrends, as much as 86% of all new printer cartridges are thrown away instead of recycled. It is estimated that more than 450 million ink carts were thrown into landfill last year in the USA. In an estimated US$32 billion dollar market, this is a tremendous amount of waste to end up in landfill. Most if not all of these cartridges will take up to 1000 years to biodegrade, and their impact on the ecosystem is still unknown. An even worse impact on the environment is that most inkjet cartridges now contain a semi-conductor chip. Semiconductor chip manufacturing requires exposing workers to highly corrosive hydrochloric acid; metals such as arsenic, cadmium, and lead; volatile solvents such as methyl chloroform. Tolulene, benzene, acetone, and trichloroethylene; and toxic gases such as arsine. Many of these chemicals are known or probable human carcinogens. "When you read how much waste water is produced in order to create these tiny little chips, and think of our own fresh water shortages that we face here in Vermont as well as other parts of the US, it gives you pause to think," said Cone.

While Vermont PhotoInkjet lauds the continuing efforts of semiconductor factories to find ways to reduce exposure to the environment and their workers from toxins, a much faster and greener impact is to lower the dependency on chips. The semiconductor chips on ConeColor refillable inkjet cartridges can be re-used time and time again. While OEM cartridges are not designed for reuse, Vermont PhotoInkjet's proposal for environmentally conscious consumers is to purchase high-quality ConeColor inks in bulk and use refillable cartridges. "Being green is a universal concept," said Mr. Cone. "Every individual can have the choice of leaving a small footprint on this Earth if they are given the correct choice of products," Cone added.

EPSON has made it even more difficult in the USA for its customers to become ecologically active. On Dec 19, 2007, EPSON citing patent infringement succeeded in getting a law enacted in which the US Customs department is blocking the entry of any non-EPSON desktop cartridges into the USA. Because EPSON brand cartridges are not designed for reuse, it appeared desktop printer consumers might be left without a choice other than disposal in landfill or incineration of used cartridges. However, just prior to the New Year, the US Patent Office in a reversal of fortune for USA consumers has questioned the validity of these patents in an office action citing that after re-examination they are based on prior art and are neither innovative nor creative.

Colleen Duffley of Colleen Duffley Photography in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida is an early adopter of the ConeColor inks system. "I live and shoot in one of the world's most beautiful and pristine beaches in Florida," said Colleen Duffley. "I use a complete digital workflow that includes shooting, editing, and printing and I can't imagine throwing away a media card because I used it in my camera. So why did I have to throw away all those ink carts because I used up the ink?" Colleen questioned. "I began using ConeColor inks and refillable cartridges and the color is everything I expected and I no longer have to feel guilty about throwing away ink carts," added Ms. Duffley. "I'm not throwing them away anymore!"

Because a ConeColor customer will need only one refillable cartridge set for the life of their printer, they will dramatically reduce the amount of plastic cartridges that would otherwise find their way into local landfills. Also, they are doing their part to protect semi-conductor workers who have one of the highest percentages worldwide of work related health issues and children born with birth defects.

Consumers in the USA have been led to believe that using third-party inks voids their warranties. To the contrary, the USA has strong consumable laws such as the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act that disallow a manufacturer from forcing a consumer to purchase and use only the manufacturer's brand ink in order to warranty the consumer's printer. Vermont PhotoInkjet has insurance for their manufacturing that covers its customer's equipment should repairs be necessary and the inks or refill cartridges are shown to be the source of the damage. Vermont PhotoInkjet is one of the few ink companies that can provide this type of security to its customers. "We've had such a great record of satisfaction with Piezography inks that we were able to get this kind of insurance coverage," explained Jon Cone.

ConeColor inks are available in 4oz, 16oz, and 32oz bottles including both a matte and a photo black option. They are priced at $28.00 for 4 ounces, $92.00 for 16 ounces, and $184.00 for 32 ounces which represents 18˘ per ml in comparison to EPSON's 50˘ per ml. The refillable cartridge system for the EPSON 4800, 7800 and 9800 printers is $398.00. The price of ConeColor ink is only $40.50 for same equivalent amount of EPSON brand ink in a standard 220ml cart. For the EPSON 2400 printer, ConeColor represents and even greater savings of as low as 18˘ cents compared to EPSON's 90˘ per ml for 2400 cartridges. When said another way, EPSON charges approximately $3,500.00 per gallon of ink when used in an EPSON 2400. A gallon of ConeColor ink is less than $700.00. Consumers can purchase a CIS system for their EPSON 2400 printer at $130 that allows use of both the matte and photo black inks, or pre-filled cartridges at only $10.84 each that they can refill and reset.

ConeColor brand ink and refill carts are available now from http://www.inkjetmall.com and are being made available by Vermont PhotoInkjet to resellers throughout the world with a contact link on the http://www.conecolor.com website

Vermont PhotoInkjet, LLC is a small company located in the rural village of East Topsham, Vermont and is renowned worldwide for its Piezography brand of monochromatic inks and software. It operates on the world-wide-web as InkjetMall.com. Jon Cone is also President of Cone Editions Press (est. 1980) which is recognized as being the world's first digital printmaker. Cone Editions Press developed and sold one of the earliest archival inks for use in IRIS printers in the mid 1990s. Vermont PhotoInkjet and Cone Editions Press have been recycling through the Vermont Waste Management Division. All of Vermont PhotoInkjet, LLC ink operations uses recycled plastic. The company is able to clean and prepare all of its finished ink containers as well as its chemical containers for recycling and reuse.

CONTACT: Jon Cone of Vermont PhotoInkjet, LLC., +1-603-264-4665, [email protected];
Web site: http://www.conecolor.com/

ConeColor is a trademark of Vermont PhotoInkjet, LLC.
Piezography is a trademark of Cone Editions Press, Ltd.
EPSON and Ultrachrome are trademarks of Seiko-EPSON Corporation.

(First posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 at 11:28 EST)

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