US Hearing Aid Device Patent Activity for March-April 2015

Samsung Electronics’ history of suit-counter-suit patent-infringement litigation was referenced last post.  The patent-infringement lawsuit strategy is not peculiar to Samsung.  Such lawsuits increased by 25% in 2013.  Recent bills introduced in the US House and Senate have bipartisan congressional and White House support.  Among other things, the bills propose to reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits, give manufacturers a green light to fight on behalf of their customers,  force patent owners to explain patent-infringement allegations in letters sent prior to filing lawsuits, and enable the FTC to levy civil penalties if such letters contain “fraudulent or misleading information.

If passed, such laws may come in handy in the near future as our small industry and its consumer recipients are visited by consumer electronics companies with large patent portfolios.

The Bi-Monthly Patent Printout


DescriptionPatent NumberAssigneeIssued
Apparatus and Method for Enhancing Audio Quality Using Non-Uniform Configuration of Microphones8965002Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Suwon-si, KR)2/24/2015
Encoding Fine Time Structure in Presence of Substantial Interaction across an Electrode Array8965519Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)2/24/2015
Frequency Selective Measuring Device and Frequency Selective Measuring Method8964823Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. (Munich, DE)2/24/2015
Signal Processing Using Spatial Filter8965003Rasmussen Digital ApS (Charlottenlund, DK)2/24/2015
Subcutaneous Piezoelectric Bone Conduction Hearing Aid Actuator and System8965021Dalhousie University (Halifax, CA)2/24/2015
Encoding of Multichannel Digital Audio Signals8964994Orange (Paris, FR)2/24/2015
Remotely Controlling a Hearing Device8971556Apple Inc. (Cupertino, Calif)3/03/2015
Method and an Apparatus for Processing an Audio Signal8972270LG Electronics Inc. (Seoul, KR)3/03/2015
Systems and Methods for Identifying Speech Sound Features8983832The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (Urbana, Ill.)3/17/2015
First Responder Wireless Emergency Alerting with Automatic Callback and Location Triggering8970366TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (Annapolis, MD)3/03/2015
Hearing Aid with a Sensor for Changing Power State of the Hearing Aid8971554Sonion Nederland BV (Amsterdam, NL)3/03/2015
Earpiece8971545Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co. KG (Wedemark, DE)3/03/2015
Hearing device with external electrode8971558Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)3/03/2015
Method for operating a hearing apparatus8976989Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)3/10/2015
Method for operating a hearing apparatus897989Siemens Audiologische Technik GmbH (Erlangen, DE)3/10/2015
Sound Processing Assembly for Use in a Cochlear Implant System8977369Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)3/10/2015
BTE/CIC Auditory Device and Modular Connector System Therefor8976991Hear-Wear Technologies, LLC (Tulsa, OK)3/10/2015
Diminishing Tinnitus Loudness by Hearing Instrument Treatment976990Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)3/10/2015
Audio processing device, system, use and method8976998Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)3/10/2015
Earphone Assembly8983101Shure Acquisition Holdings, Inc. (Niles, IL)3/17/2015
System and Method for Exchanging a Battery of a Hearing Device8978885Phonak AG (Stafa, CH)3/17/2015
Tinnitus Rehabilitation Device and Method8979729Neuromonics Pty Limited (Chatswood, New South Wales, AU)3/17/2015
Speech Processor Headpiece8983102Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)3/17/2015
Modular wireless auditory test instrument with intelligent transducers8983084GN Resound A/S (Ballerup, Denmark)3/17/2015
Sound Capture Focus Adjustment for Hearing Prosthesis8989413Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)3/24/2015
Active Delay Method and an Improved Wireless Binaural Hearing Device Using the Same Method8989394Kyunpook National University Academic Industry Cooperation Foundation (Dae-Gu Si, South Korea)3/24/2015
Hearing aid with antenna for reception and transmission of electromagnetic signals8995699Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)3/31/2015
Visual Speech Mapping8995698Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)3/31/2015
Hearing Protector89956763M Svenska AB (Sollentuna, Sweden)3/31/2015
Varying the effective coil area for an inductive transcutaneous power link8996121Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)3/31/2015
Using interaction to measure neural excitation8996127Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)3/31/2015
Methods and systems of adjusting one or more perceived attributes of an audio signal8996120Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)4/07/2015
Methods and systems for managing cochlear implant fitting software features8996122Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)4/07/2015
Methods and systems for registering and identifying a cochlear implant emulation device and managing data associated therewith9002464Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)4/07/2015
Method and System for Transcutaneous Proximity Wireless Control of a Canal Hearing Device9002046iHear Medical Inc. (San Leandro, Calif.)4/07/2015
Hearing aids with adaptive beamformer responsive to off-axis speech9002045Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)4/07/2015
Method and Apparatus for an Insulated Electromagnetic Shield for Use in Hearing Assistance Devices9002047Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)4/07/2015
Housing for a Standard Fit Hearing Assistance Device9002049Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)4/07/2015
Automatic gain control with out of band blocking signal compensation9001942Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)4/07/2015
Implant Abutment9005202Cochlear Ltd. (Macquarie University, NSW, Australia)4/14/2015
Drug retaining surface features in an implantable medical device9008796Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)4/14/2015
Active electrode state control system9008787Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)4/14/2015
Determining stimulation signals for neural stimulation9008786Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)4/14/2015
Method and Apparatus to Test Hearing Ability and Hearing Aid Apparatus Using the Same9008340Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Suwon-si, KR)4/14/2015
Method for determining the sound pressure level at the eardrum of an occluded ear9008325Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)4/14/2015
Synchronous access method, and communication device and system in frequency hopping radio communication9008149Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)4/14/2015
Conformable dome ear canal tip for a hearing instrument9004233Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)4/14/2015
Storage System for a Hearing Aid9014405Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)4/21/2015
Hearing instrument system with a rechargeable battery9014407Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)4/21/2015
Formant Based Speech Reconstruction from Noisy Signals9015044Malaspina Labs (Barbados) Inc. (Upton, St. Michael, Barbados)4/21/2015
Method of Initializing a Binaural Hearing Aid System and a Hearing Aid9014379Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)4/21/2015
Vent Detection in a Hearing Assistance Device with a Real Ear Measurement System9014385Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)4/21/2015
Method for Controlling a Binaural Hearing Aid System and Binaural Hearing Aid System9014406Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)4/21/2015
Method for Control of Adaptation of Feedback Suppression in a Hearing Aid, and a Hearing Aid9020171Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)4/28/2015
Portable Electronic Device Which Provides Hearing Aid Compatibility9020175BlackBerry Ltd. (Waterloo, Canada)4/28/2015
Format Based Speech Reconstruction from Noisy Signals9020818Malaspina Labs (Barbados) Inc. (Upton, St. Michael, Barbados)4/28/2015
Method and apparatus for harvesting energy in a hearing assistance device9020173Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)4/28/2015
Apparatus for vented hearing assistance systems9020176Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)4/28/2015
Automatic Frequency Shift Keying (FSK) tuning circuit for a hearing aid and method9020063Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)4/28/2015
Method for control of adaptation of feedback suppression in a hearing aid, and a hearing aid9020171Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)4/28/2015
Adaptive data rate for a bilateral hearing prosthesis system9020169Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)4/28/2015
Methods, systems, and devices for detecting feedback9020172Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)4/28/2015
Bone conduction device having an integrated housing and vibrator9020174Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)4/28/2015
Hearing prosthesis with a standard wire interface9020601Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)4/28/2015
Network based media enhancement function based on an identifier9020621Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)4/28/2015

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

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.