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Sony and Idemitsu to jointly develop materials for OLED

Agreement reached for mutual use of each company’s OLED-related patents

Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. (hereafter Idemitsu) and Sony Corporation (hereafter Sony) have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) on November 28, 2005 to jointly develop new superior Organic Light-Emitting Diode (hereafter OLED) luminous materials. And to promote the joint development, they have agreed to the mutual use of each company’s OLED-related patents, i.e. material patents and component patents. The formal contract is expected to be signed at the end of January 2006.

OLED is a self-luminous display, which emits light by running an electric current through organic luminous materials. As a result of its simple structure, whereby the organic luminous layer is placed between two glass panels, no back-light system is required. This leads to a much thinner display. OLED is widely considered to be the most viable next-generation flat display, showing excellent color reproduction capability and high-speed response to moving images.

Idemitsu developed the world’s brightest blue-light organic luminous material in 1997, based on their molecular engineering and organic synthesis technologies. Idemitsu has since continuously been developing new luminous materials for the mid-large size OLEDs. In addition to materials development, Idemitsu is aggressively working on new technologies such as combination technology for materials, OLED component technologies, etc.

Sony is developing various material and component technologies, and presented a 13 “OLED panel in February 2001 and a 24” OLED in January 2003, based on low temperature poly silicon TFT (Thin Film Transistor) technologies. Sony’s mass-produced OLEDs were adopted in the company’s PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) products from September 2004. And now, Sony is working on developing new technologies for the realization of a mid-large size OLED panel.

By sharing their complementary OLED related technologies, Idemitsu and Sony will develop new superior OLED luminous materials, boasting excellent features such as high luminescence efficiency for lower power consumption, high brightness and color reproduction for HD contents era, high response time for moving images, long durability, etc.

In addition, the agreement will grant mutual access to both companies’ individual OLED-related patents. Sony will be able to use Idemitsu’s OLED component related patents, whereby Idemitsu will be able to use Sony’s OLED material related patents. As a result, the joint development will be accelerated, and Idemitsu and Sony are expected to expand their respective material and component businesses smoothly.

“As a materials manufacturer, we are delighted to have a strong relationship with Sony Corporation which positions OLED as the leading candidate to succeed as the next generation display” said Akihiko Tenbo, President, Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. “The complementary strengths of Sony’s display technologies and Idemitsu’s material technologies will positively drive OLED development.”

“We are very pleased to work on this joint development with Idemitsu, which has leading edge technology in many areas and especially in OLED material technologies.” said Ryoji Chubachi, President and Electronics CEO, Sony Corporation. “Sony is positioning OLED as the most important technology for the next generation flat display. Thanks to the development of new superior luminous materials through the joint efforts of the two companies, we will be able to accelerate the OLED development and will advance the materialization of our OLED applied products.”

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