US Hearing Device Patents May-June 2016

Fig 1. Oticon USPTO ##9351086 for Hearing Aid Device with In-the-Ear-Canal Microphone.

“Space is a scarce resource in a hearing aid.”

That simple but powerful observation heralds the purpose of Oticon’s US patent #9338569 (Portable Electronic Device Comprising a Folded Substrate), shown in the title image. That purpose is to cram as much amplification technology as possible into the smallest space.

Oticon’s next patented step is to use the folded substrate in a design described in US patent #9351086, shown in Figure 1.  There, directional mics, battery, DSP chip, speaker, open dome are all loaded into the ear canal with a removal string.  The worm-like effect is designed so that “an improved feedback reduction is thereby achieved, while allowing a relatively large gain to be applied to the incoming signal.

Pretty darned cute — a CIC that leverages the benefits of the RIC open-ear fitting which itself revolutionized hearing aid fitting over a decade ago.  What to call it?  CIC-RIC isn’t quite accurate but rhymes and has a ring to it.





The Two-Month Patent List


DescriptionPatent NumberAssigneeIssued
Accelerated Fitting of Cochlear Implants Based on Current Spread9320896Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)4/26/2016
Objective Allocation of Implant Electrode Bands Based on Excitation Spread9320887Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)4/26/2016
Using Mobile Consumer Devices to Communicate with Consumer Medical Devices9323893Orca Health, Inc. (Sandy, UT)4/26/2016
Lithium Battery Having Irregularly Shaped Casing9325029Greatbatch Ltd. (Clarence, NY)4/26/2016
Inflatable Bubble9326059Asius Technologies, LLC (Longmont, CO)4/26/2016
Flexible Protocol for an Implanted Prosthesis9326075Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)4/26/2016
System and Method for Sharing Network Resources between Hearing Devices9326077Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)4/26/2016
Implantable Fluid Delivery System with Floating Mass Transducer Driven Pump9327071Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)5/03/2016
Hearing Profile Test System and Method9326706iHear Medical, Inc. (San Leandro, CA)5/03/2016
Customization of Adaptive Directionality for Hearing Aids Using a Portable Device9332359Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)5/03/2016
Hearing Aid9332356Brainstorm Audio, LLC (Dover, DE)5/03/2016
Compression and Mixing for Hearing Assistance Devices9332360Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)5/03/2016
Portable Electronic Device Comprising a Folded Substrate9338569Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)5/10/2016
Binaurally Coordinated Compression System9338563Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)5/10/2016
Earphones and Hearing Aids with Equalization9338555J. Craig Oxford (Nashville, TN)5/10/2016
Hearing Aid Charger HousingD755976Earzqo, Inc. (Mountain View, CA)5/10/2016
Auditory Signal Processing9338567Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)5/10/2016
Inflatable Ear Piece and a Method of Its Manufacture9338568Sonion Nederland B.V. (Hoofddorp, Netherlands)5/10/2016
Electrode for common cavity cochlear malformation9333338Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)5/10/2016
Implantable Cochlear Systems with Intracochlear Electrode Array for Balance Stabilization9339649The Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto) and University Health Network (Toronto, Canada)5/17/2016
Adjustable Securing Mechanism for a Space Access Device9344819Eargo, Inc. (Mountain View, CA)5/17/2016
Wireless Power Transmission Device and Method for Controlling Power Supply for Wireless Power Transmission Device9343909Nitto Denko Corp (Osaka, JP)5/17/2016
Portable Electronic Device for Wearing at the Ear and a Method of Operating a Portable Electronic Device9344812Teknologisk Institut (Taastrup, DK)5/17/2016
Easily Installable Microphone for Implantable Hearing Aid9344818Kyungpook National University Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation (Daegu, KR)5/17/2016
Hearing Aid System and a Hearing Aid9344816Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)5/17/2016
Hearing Aid Device and Method for Feedback Reduction9344814Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)5/17/2016
Methods for Operating a Hearing Device as Well as Hearing Devices9344813Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)5/17/2016
Stimulus Timing for a Stimulating Medical Device9339648Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)5/17/2016
Evaluation of sound quality and speech intelligibility from neurograms9351088Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)5/24/2016
Hearing Aid Device with In-the-Ear-Canal Microphone9351086Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)5/24/2016
Learning Control of Hearing Aid Parameter Settings9351087GN ReSound A/S (Ballerup, Denmark)5/24/2016
Hearing Aid Systems9357317Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)5/31/2016
Hearing Aid, Loudspeaker, and Feedback Canceller9357315Rion Co. Ltd. (Kokubunji-Shi, Tokyo, Japan)5/31/2016
Hearing Aid Battery DoorD757945ZPower, LLC (Camarillo, CA)5/31/2016
Hearing Prosthesis with Accessory Detection9357318Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)5/31/2016
Automated Sound Processor with Audio Signal Feature Determination and Processing Mode Adjustment9357314Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)5/31/2016
Input selection for an auditory prosthesis9352154Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)5/31/2016
Systems and methods for detecting nerve stimulation with an implanted prosthesis9352153Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)5/31/2016
Time Division Multiplexed Access Method of Operating a near Field Communication System and a near Field Communication System Operating the Same9357316NXP B.V. (Eindhoven, NL)5/31/2016
Method and device for reducing acoustic feedback9357301Sivantos PTE. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)5/31/2016
Elastic Body of Audio Accessory, Audio Accessory and Electronic Device Supporting the Same9357319Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Suwon-si, KR)5/31/2016
Method of Fitting a Hearing Aid System and a Hearing Aid Fitting System9363614Widex A/S (Lynge, Denmark)6/07/2016
Accessory Member, and Accessory Comprising the Same9358751Kyocera Corp (Kyoto, JP)6/07/2016
Environmentally Sealed Hearing Assistance Device9363613Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)6/07/2016
Method for Operating a Hearing Device and a Hearing Device9363612Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)6/07/2016
Automated Method of Classifying and Suppressing Noise in Hearing Devices9364669The Board of Regents of the University of Texas System (Austin, TX)6/14/2016
External Ear Canal Voice Detection9369814Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)6/14/2016
Omniphobic Perforated Barrier for Hearing Aid Transducers9369816Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)6/14/2016
Vanadium Boride Air Multiple Electron High Capacity Battery9368846The George Washington University (Washington, DC)6/14/2016
BTE Hearing Aid Having Two Driven Antennas9369813GN ReSound A/S (Ballerup, Denmark)6/14/2016
High Power RF Field Effect Transistor Switching Using DC Biases9368975Qualcomm Inc (San Diego, CA)6/14/2016
Methods and apparatus for processing audio signals9369102Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)6/14/2016
Binaural enhancement of tone language for hearing assistance devices9374646Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)6/21/2016


System and method for embedding conductive traces into hearing assistance device housings9374650Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)6/21/2016


Fitting device and a method of fitting a hearing device to compensate for the hearing loss of a user; and a hearing device and a method of reducing feedback in a hearing device9374645GN ReSound A/S (Ballerup, Denmark)6/21/2016
Hearing assistance system and method9374648Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)6/21/2016
Method of performing an RECD measurement using a hearing assistance device9374638Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)6/21/2016
Injection moulded circuit carrier having an integrated circuit board9374891Sivantos PTE. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)6/21/2016
External component of a hearing prosthesisD760392Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)6/28/2016
Temperature sensor and temperature probe9377368Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)6/28/2016
Hearing prosthesis system having interchangeable housings9375572Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)6/28/2016
Stimulating assembly fixation features9375565Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)6/28/2016
Hearing instrument with an integral injection-molding casing9380396Sivantos PTE. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)6/28/2016
Microphone protective device9380367Sivantos PTE. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)6/28/2016

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

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.


  1. How about a “CRIC” ==> Completely-receiver-in-the-canal?

    What was really interesting was Samsung’s patent; If you check the images section, you’ll the patent is for a part on a device that looks remarkably like an RIC.

    1. Scott, the more I think on it (which isn’t much), the more I’m leaning toward IED — Invisible Ear Device. That covers whatever gets put in the ear canal, so long as it’s completely in there.
      And yes, the images from many of the patents, Samsung’s included, are really interesting. Glad you like perusing the list and thanks for commenting.

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