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Cochlear Increases Volume in Dispute With US University Over Hearing Device Patents


October 7, 2022

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Cochlear, an Australian Biotech Hearing Implant Maker, will fight the University of Pittsburgh’s patent infringement claim that elements of Cochlear’s Nuclear 6 and 7 implant products violated their patents – filed in 2008, for a “wireless energy transfer unit.”


Cochlear implant devices consist of a surgical implant, sound processor, and headpiece coil. The headpiece coil is at the crux of this dispute; it allows the implant to communicate with the sound processor wirelessly.


Cochlear has counter-claimed that the University’s patents are invalid because Cochlear developed and marketed products using the technology by the time the University filed its patent. Further, Cochlear argues that the University’s interpretation improperly attempts to ensnare technology outside the patent’s scope.


This dispute comes after a scientific research foundation brought suit over two expired patents and the Australian biotech was ordered to pay US$268 million in damages. Despite reassuring investors in February that the University’s case did not have merit, it seems the Australian Biotech may be back in Court soon.

 

Authors: Eyitayo Kunle-Oladosu and Mark Leonard

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