US Hearing Device Patent Approvals for September and October 2014

The list of US patent approvals in the hearing industry grows longer with each bi-monthly period.  The Big 6 are well represented, but new players continue to enter the arena.  Inventor-owned patents are a rarity these days, accounting for just 10% of all new patents, down from 25% in the past.  In his new book, The Innovators, Walter Isaacson  charts changes in development of ideas and inventions by inventors and innovators:

“… the most advanced work is outrun by cannier innovators who pay attention to things like patents, or who think about the practical applications of the things they have devised.”

In many countries (e.g., Germany, Finland, Japan and China), corporations have to pay employee inventors to get the rights to their inventions.  Not so in the US, where   intellectual property law does not go out of its way to reward individual inventors for a number of reasons.

  • Filing is expensive, complicated and time consuming, which gives corporations an edge over individuals.  That’s especially the case since the 2013 America Invents Act substituted a “first to file” rule for the former “first to invent” rule.
  • Employees are routinely required by corporations to pre-assign intellectual property rights to their “pre-inventions”
  • Corporations are not required to recognize individuals’ efforts with compensation over and above their salaries.

 The List

DescriptionPatent NumberAssigneeIssued
Apparatus and Method for Modifying an Input Audio Signal8812308Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (Munich, DE)8/19/2014
Elongate Implantable Carrier Member Having an Embedded Stiffener8812121Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)8/19/2014
Multichannel Audio Coder and Decoder8817992Nokia Corporation (Espoo, FI)8/19/2014
Restoring a Past Configuration to a Sound Processor of a Cochlear Implant System8818518Advanced Bionics AG (Zug, CH)8/26/2014
Information Processing and Storage in a Cochlear Stimulation System8818517Advanced Bionics AG (Zug, CH)8/26/2014
Battery Life Optimizer8805523Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)8/31/2014
Earwax filter, handing tool and dispenser for such filter8824714Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)9/02/2014
Communication system comprising a telephone and a listening device, and transmission method8824668Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)9/02/2014
Method and Apparatus for Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aid with Capacitive Sensor8824712Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)9/02/2014
FM Radio System for Digital and Analog Communications for Hearing Assistance Devices8825824711037Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)9/02/2014
Efficient Convex Optimization for Real-Time Robust Beamforming with Microphone Arrays8824711Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)9/02/2014
Ear Tip Piece for Hearing Instruments8820474Magnatone Hearing Aid Corp. (Florida)9/02/2014
Optical electro-mechanical hearing devices with combined power and signal architectures8824715EarLens Corp. (Redwood City, Calif.)9/02/2014
Exterior Power Supply for Hearing Aid8831257Chum Lee (Taipei County, Taiwan) and Huey-Ling Kao Ulrey (Scottsdale, Ariz.)9/09/2014
Hearing Aid Faceplate Arrangement8831259Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)9/09/2014
Method for restricting the output level in hearing apparatuses8831258Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)9/09/2014
Bone Conduction Hearing Device Having Acoustic Feedback Reduction System8831260Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)9/09/2014
Short Range, Uni-Directional Wireless Link8831508Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)9/09/2014
Method of coating a surface with a water and oil repellant polymer layer8828498Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)9/09/2014
Speech enhancement method and system8831934Phonak AG (Stafa, Switzerland)9/09/2014
System, Method and Hearing Aids for in Situ Occlusion Effect Measurement8837757Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)9/16/2014
Control of shape of an implantable electrode array8843216Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)9/23/2014
Variable impedance shunt for a tissue stimulating prosthesis8843208Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)9/23/2014
Stimulation channel selection for a stimulating medical device8843205Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)9/23/2014
Pitch perception in an auditory prosthesis8842853Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)9/23/2014
Adaptive cancellation system for implantable hearing instruments8840540Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)9/23/2014
Apparatus and Method for Outputting Sound in Mobile Terminal8842860SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS Co. Ltd. (Suwon-si, South Korea)9/23/2014
Test Battery System and Method for Assessment of Auditory Function840565Sonicom Inc. (Omaha, Neb)9/23/2014
Two Part Hearing Aid with Databus Connection8842863Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)9/23/2014
Method of Signal Processing in a Hearing Aid System and a Hearing Aid System8842861Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)9/23/2014
Self-Adjustment of a Hearing Aid and Hearing Aid8848954Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)9/23/2014
Hearing Aid Device with User-Controlled Automatic Adjusting Means8842862Siemens Audiologische Technik GmbH (Erlangen, Germany)9/23/2014
Hearing Instrument Comprising a Divided Wax Filter8842864Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)9/23/2014
Method and Apparatus for Mathematically Characterizing Ear Canal Geometry8840558Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)9/23/2014
Microcircuit cochlear electrode array and method of manufacture8849426Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)9/30/2014
Deep-Ear-Canal Hearing Device8848955Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)9/30/2014
Hearing-Test Method8844358Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)9/30/2014
Invisible Retention Device for Hearing Aids8848959Milton Richter (Monticello, NY)9/30/2014
Method for the Operation of a Hearing Device and Hearing Device with Variable Frequency Shift8848953Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)9/30/2014
Self-Adjustment of a Hearing Aid and Hearing Aid8848954Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)9/30/2014
Standard Fit Hearing Assistance Device with Removable Sleeve8848956Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)9/30/2014
Invisible Retention Device for Hearing Aids8848959Milton Richter (Monticello, NY)9/30/2014
Sound Exposure Monitoring System and Method for Operating the Same8848929AEGISOUND (Christiansburg, Va.)9/30/2014
Optical cochlear stimulation devices and methods8845705EarLens Corp. (Redwood City, Calif.)9/30/2014
Hearing aid retainer accessory8848957  & 8848958Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)9/30/2014
Hearing device with a vent extension and method for manufacturing such a hearing device8855347Phonak AG (Stafa, Switzerland)10/07/2014
Telecoil in a detachable direct audio input accessory8855348Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)10/07/2014
Patterned implantable electret microphone8855350Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)10/07/2014
Mechanical Fixation System for a Prosthetic Device8852251Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)10/07/2014
Systems, Methods, and Article of Manufacture for Configuring a Hearing Prosthesis8855324Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)10/07/2014
Dynamic Noise Reduction in Auditory Prosthesis Systems8855344Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)10/07/2014
Systems and Methods for Loading a Pre-Curved Electrode Array onto a Straightening Member8855790Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)10/07/2014
Method for Identifying a Receiver in a Hearing Aid8855323Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)10/07/2014
Hearing Aid Device for Frequency Compression8855342Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)10/07/2014
Hearing device with reduced acoustic feedback due to vibration-related shortening of the hearing device8855346Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)10/07/2014
Hearing Aid Compliant Mobile Handset8855724Molex Inc. (Lisle, Ill.)10/07/2014
Battery Module for Perpendicular Docking into a Canal Hearing Device8855345iHear Medical Inc. (San Leandro, Calif.)10/07/2014
Vibration sensor for bone conduction hearing prosthesis8858420Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)10/14/2014
Hearing Aid Device and Processing Unit and Receiving Unit for the Hearing Aid Device8861758Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)10/14/2014
Feedback suppression device and method for periodic adaptation of a feedback suppression device8861759Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)10/14/2014
Balanced Armature Devices and Methods for Hearing8858419EarLens Corp. (Redwood City, Calif.)10/14/2014
System for hearing assistance device including receiver in the canal8861761Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)10/14/2014
Audio Processing Compression System Using Level-Dependent Channels8861760Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)10/14/2014
Hearing aid and an ear piece for a hearing aid8861762Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)10/14/2014
RF transmitter for electrically short antenna8868010Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)10/21/2014
Method for producing a signal which is audible by an individual8867766Phonak AG (Stafa, Switzerland)10/21/2014
Earpiece assembly with foil clip8867768iHear Medical Inc. (San Leandro, Calif.)10/21/2014
Antenna used in conjunction with the conductors for an audio transducer8867765Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)10/21/2014
Hearing Implant8864645Sentient Medical Ltd. (Dundee, Great Britain)10/21/2014
Hearing Aid Mold8867767Gustavo Andres Bravo Cordero (Santiago, Chile)10/21/2014
Method of focusing a hearing instrument beamformer8867763Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)10/21/2014
Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aid Having a Plug-In Connector8867769Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)10/21/2014
Calibrated Hearing Aid Tuning Appliance8867764Bowie-Wiggins LLC (Burien, Wash.)10/21/2014
Input converter for an EEG monitoring system, signal conversion method and monitoring system8866661Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)10/21/2014
Waterproof Acoustic Element Enclosures and Apparatus Including the Same8873783Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)10/28/2014
Retaining Module for the Earpiece of a Hearing Aid8873786Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)10/28/2014
Attenuating Tip for Hearing Aids8873785Zounds Hearing Inc. (Tempe, Az)10/28/2014

Editor’s note:  The Patent Series is updated every two months.  Click links for patents approved in 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

feature photo of Thomas Edison courtesy of The Atlantic


About Holly Hosford-Dunn

Holly Hosford-Dunn, PhD, graduated with a BA and MA in Communication Disorders from New Mexico State, completed a PhD in Hearing Sciences at Stanford, and did post-docs at Max Planck Institute (Germany) and Eaton-Peabody Auditory Physiology Lab (Boston). Post-education, she directed the Stanford University Audiology Clinic; developed multi-office private practices in Arizona; authored/edited numerous text books, chapters, journals, and articles; and taught Marketing, Practice Management, Hearing Science, Auditory Electrophysiology, and Amplification in a variety of academic settings.