“Hearing Health Matters have been charting granted patents in this area since 2012, updating their list every few months. It should be mandatory reading for any company entering this arena.” (Nick Hunn, The Market for Hearable Devices, 2016-2020)

Hearing Economics is happy that an industry consultant of the likes of Mr. Hunn benefits from our ever-lengthening patent lists and grateful that he recommends it as essential bedside reading material.  We think the same of his Hearable reports of 2016, quoted above, and 2014. As with patents and patent applications, The Hunn Hearable reports cut a wide swathe across ideas of things that go into ears and do things the market may find desirable. Hunn’s reports are so tightly packed with information and insights that important observations can get lost in a quick read.  Best to read them slowly and carefully and more than once.  

 

Not All Ideas Are New

 

For instance– and relevant to today’s post– Hunn dryly and quickly notes on p. 72 of the 2016-2020 report that crowdfunded companies entering the hearing device area often and erroneously “believe they are the first to have the idea,” setting them on a path to possible infringement as they discover that the idea is alive and well-defended in the big, deep patent portfolios for ear devices owned by the Big 6, a few audio electronics companies (e.g., Bose and Sennheiser), and specialized startups (e.g., Personics, Eers, United Science). 

Infringement and litigation are the Wild West of the patent world and efforts have been made in recent times to civilize it through proposed legislation. But, recent political change makes some forecast that the patent world is destined to remain wild and woolly for some time to come:

Legislation aimed at curbing abusive patent litigation, which has been pending in Congress for several years, is likely to stall once President-elect Donald Trump takes office, attorneys say, since his views on patent law are largely unknown and the issue will be low on his agenda. (Law360.com)

 

A Shorter, More Frequent List

 

Speaking of ever-lengthening patent lists, they were getting too long and unwieldy to handle without mistakes creeping into the table.  For that reason, and because they have a large and loyal readership (thanks in part to Mr . Hunn), we’ve decided to run the lists on a monthly basis.  Today’s post is the second in the monthly, shorter list approach.

Editor’s note:  The Patent Series is updated monthly now, and every two months in the past.  Click links for patents approved in Sept 2016,  Jul/Aug 2016,  May/Jun 2016Mar/Apr 2016Jan/Feb 2016,  Nov/Dec 2015, Sept/Oct 2015,  Jul/Aug 2015, May/Jun 2015,  Mar/Apr 2015Jan/Feb 2015,  Nov/Dec 2014,  Sep/Oct 2014,  July/Aug 2014,  May/Jun 2014,  Mar/Apr 2014,  Jan/Feb 2014Nov/Dec 2013September/October 2013Jul/Aug 2013May/Jun 2013Mar/Apr 2013Jan/Feb 2013Nov/Dec 2012

 

The October Patent List

 

Description

Patent Number

Assignee

Issued

Cardioid Beam with a Desired Null Based Acoustic Devices, Systems, and Methods

9456275

Kopin Corp. (Westborough, MA)

9/27/2016

Alkaline Cell with Improved High Rate Capacity

9455440

Spectrum Brands, Inc. (Middleton, WI)

9/27/2016

Anti-Impact Silicon Based MEMS Microphone, a System and a Package with the Same

9462389

Goertek Inc. (CN)

10/04/2016

Hearing Aid with Automatic Mode Change Capabilities

9462397

III Holdings 4 LLC (Wilmington, Del)

10/04/2016

Patent Issued for Hearing Assistance Coplanar Waveguide

9462396

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

10/04/2016

Packaging and Details of a Wireless Power Device

9461714

Qualcomm Inc (San Diego, CA)

10/04/2016

Systems and Methods for Controlling Output Power of a Wireless Power Transmitter

9461481

Qualcomm Inc (San Diego, CA)

10/04/2016

Signal Source Separation

9460732

Analog Devices, Inc. (Norwood, MA)

10/04/2016

Hearing instrument with interruptable microphone power supply

9467765

GN ReSound A/S (Ballerup, DK)

10/11/2016

Methods for the Treatment of Tinnitus Induced by Cochlear Excitotoxicity

9463168

Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (Inserm) (Paris, FR)

10/11/2016

Antenna

9466876

NXP B.V. (Eindhoven, NL)

10/11/2016

Low Pulse Rate Cochlear Implant Stimulation in Conjunction with a Separate Representation of Fundamental Frequencies and Voiced/Unvoiced Distinctions

9463319

Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

10/11/2016

Hearing device with a frame holding hearing device components and a shell encasing the frame

9467788

Sivantos GmbH (Erlangen, DE)

10/11/2016

Hearing Aid with a Replaceable Insertion Cap

9467787

Sivantos Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)

10/11/2016

Method and Hearing Aid System for Logic-Based Binaural Beam-Forming System

9473860

Sivantos Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)

10/11/2016

Portable Terminal, Hearing Aid, and Method of Indicating Positions of Sound Sources in the Portable Terminal

9467786

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Suwon-si, KR)

10/11/2016

Battery-Powered Wireless Audio Device and a Method of Operating Such a Wireless Audio Device

9467771

Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)

10/11/2016

Systems and Methods for Haptically-Enabled Alarms

9466188

Immersion Corp (San Jose, CA)

10/11/2016

Random-access electrode addressing systems and methods

9468770

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

10/18/2016

Method and System for Providing a Hearing Aid

9473862

Sonetik AG (Bern, Switzerland)

10/18/2016

Hearing Aid with Increased Acoustic Bandwidth

9473857

Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)

10/18/2016

Moving Armature Receiver Assemblies with Vibration Suppression

9473855

Sonion Nederland B.V. (Hoofddorp, NL)

10/18/2016

Pre-Processing of a Channelized Music Signal

9473852

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

10/18/2016

Systems and Methods of Telecommunication for Bilateral Hearing Instruments

9473859

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

10/18/2016

Reflow Solderable Flexible Circuit Board — to — Flexible Circuit Board Connector Reinforcement

9474154

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

10/18/2016

Method and Apparatus for Synchronizing Hearing Instruments Via Wireless Communication

9471090

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

10/18/2016

Method and System for Self-Managed Sound Enhancement

9468401

Ace Communications Ltd (Hong Kong, CN)

10/18/2016

1-Aminocyclohexane Derivatives for the Treatment of Hearing Loss

9468610

Merz Pharma GmbH & Co. KGaA (Frankfurt am Main, DE)

10/18/2016

Acoustic Source Separation

9473841

University of Surrey (Guildford, GB)

10/18/2016

Enhanced Comfort Earbud

9479878

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

10/25/2016

Processor-Readable Medium, Apparatus and Method for Updating a Hearing Aid

9479876

III Holdings 4 LLC (Wilmington, Del)

10/25/2016

Speech-Sound Distinguishing Ability Determination Apparatus, Speech-Sound Distinguishing Ability Determination System, Hearing Aid Gain Determination Apparatus, Speech-Sound Distinguishing Ability Determination Method, and Program Thereof

9479880

Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co. Ltd. (Osaka, Japan)

10/25/2016

System and Method for Neural Hearing Stimulation

9474901

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

10/25/2016

Pre-Curved Electrode Array Insertion Tools

9474546

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

10/25/2016

Methods and Systems for Logging Data Associated with an Operation of a Sound Processor by an Auditory Prosthesis

9479877

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

10/25/2016

Method to Measure Real-Ear-to-Coupler Difference

9474473

Sivantos Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)

10/25/2016

Fitting of Hearing Devices

9479879

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

10/25/2016

Systems, Devices, and Methods for Wearable Heads-Up Displays

9477079

Thalmic Labs Inc. (Kitchener, CA)

10/25/2016

Calorimeters for Testing Energy Storage Systems and Power Electronics Methods of Making the Same and Methods of Use

9476780

Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC (Golden, CO)

10/25/2016

Surgical Tool for Implantation of a Device with a Convex Element

9474537

Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

10/25/2016

2 Responses to US Hearing Device Patents in October 2016

  1. jacques kinsbergen says:

    Hallo
    To complete your comprehensive lists please find the patent and patent application list of jacoti bvba
    Please search under google patents and Jacoti .
    I can not send the list , refused as spam.

    Kind regards
    Jacques
    Jacques kinsbergen

    • Holly Hosford-Dunn says:

      Thanks Jacques. Our lists are not comprehensive since they are restricted to only awarded patents from the US patent office, and only for those published/announced within the timeframe designated in the post’s title (e.g., October 2016). At the present time, HHTM does not attempt the overwhelming tasks of covering WIPO or patent applications. Only in recent months have we expanded our coverage beyond hearing aids to include hearing devices and hearing processes.

      To the best of our knowledge, Jacoti BVBA has only one patent awarded by USPTO. That is #9055377, awarded on June 9, 2015, of which you are the principal inventor. If there are more recent patents awarded through the USPTO, please let us know. Thank you.