US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled in favor of plaintiff Hearing Components versus defendant Shure, on infringement and validity of two patents on the use of foam tips and sound isolation earphones.
Reportedly, in May 2007, Hearing Components had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Chicago-based Shure in the US District Court in East Texas involving Shure’s earphone products. The lawsuit accused Shure of infringing two patents held by Hearing Components, both related to the use of replaceable foam tips in combination with earphones to provide sound isolation.
Specifically, the patent infringement focused on Shure’s disposable earphone tips made of soft foam that connect to earphone devices by straight and barbed nozzle fasteners, and funnel sound into the ear canal. Reportedly, in January 2009, in the District Court, Hearing Components won jury and bench trials, which were appealed.
Also, in April 2010, the appellate court ruled in favor of Hearing Components, affirming a jury verdict that should result in an award to the company of just under $5,000,000 for the two counts. The court also ruled that a third Hearing Components patent for wax guards for hearing devices should be incorporated back into the infringement lawsuit against Shure.
Bob Oliveira, president and CEO of Hearing Components, said: “The products patented by Hearing Components were developed from years of research. We take our intellectual property very seriously and are glad to have resolution of the use of foam tips on hearing devices.”