HIMPP Patents

Numbers of patent families in the Hearing Aid space (Source: Questel Orbit*)

Only a very small fraction of the patents in the Hearing Aid Technology Space is owned by HIMPP, and all HIMPP partners have their own IP portfolios. As seen above less than 2% of the total number of patents owned by the HIMPP partners are owned by the HIMPP partnership. Furthermore the HIMPP partners only owns around 40% of all the patents even though all the major Hearing Aid manufacturers are part of the partnership. This ratio was derived from the dedicated hearing aid patent class (H04R25/00) of the International Patent Class (IPC) system used by the Patent Offices around the world to technically classify patents. Extending this analysis outside the specific patent class H04R25/00 will lead to an even lower ratio of patents owned by the HIMPP partners compared to Non-HIMPP partners. Therefore the majority of patents in the Hearing Instrument space is owned by companies outside the HIMPP partnership, even when considered very narrowly by the dedicated patent class. The HIMPP partners owns a minority of the patents around 40% and only around 0.7% of the patents in the space are owned by the HIMPP partnership.

Since its formation, HIMPP has acquired approx. 150 patent families totaling 6-700 national patents all over the world. Some of those patents have now expired or been abandoned.

Initially, the portfolio consisted of 32 patent families comprising well over 150 national patents and patent applications directed towards programmable hearing instruments, digital hearing instruments, computer programming of hearing instruments and advanced fitting strategies.

Later, HIMPP has acquired 15 patent families from Decibel Instruments, 10 patents families from NEC Corporation, 23 families from Songbird Hearing, Inc, 2 patent families from Avaya Inc., and 4 patent families from HEI, Inc. (Hybrid Electronics).

Most recently, HIMPP has acquired 12 patent families from On Semiconductor, 2 patent families from AT&T and 1 patent family from Ruwisch.