Inflatable Or Expandable Patents (Class 128/865)
  • Patent number: 10375467
    Abstract: Systems, apparatus, and methods for filtering acoustic energy include a first conduit substantially aligned with a longitudinal axis and defining a first opening for receiving incident acoustic energy from the environment. A cavity in fluid communication with the first conduit selectively amplifies and/or dampens the acoustic energy based on an associated resonance frequency. A moving element disposed in the cavity may be displaced relative to the cavity in a direction substantially aligned with the longitudinal axis and in an amount related to a sound pressure level of acoustic energy in the cavity. A second conduit substantially aligned with the longitudinal axis and in fluid communication with the cavity selectively attenuates acoustic energy from the cavity based on the sound pressure level by receiving at least some of the acoustic energy from the cavity and/or the moving element when it is displaced from the cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Assignee: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Jun Xu, Nicholas Fang
  • Patent number: 10250964
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure generally relate to custom-fit in-ear audio devices. The custom-fit earpieces disclosed herein may include features providing superior retention in a user's ear while also maintaining desirable comfort and sound quality. The superior retention is generally provided by a curable filler disposed in a bladder that is deformed to conform to the shape of a user's outer ear as the filler material is cured. It has been found that a desired comfort level and sound quality can be achieved in a custom-fit earpiece by physically separating or at least partially decoupling the audio output member from other portions of the earpiece that are designed to enable the retention of the custom-fit earpiece within the user's ear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: LOGITECH EUROPE S.A.
    Inventors: Steve McGarry, Steven Warren Pooler, Steven Lee King
  • Patent number: 10219064
    Abstract: An embodiment of the technology includes Tri-Ear Buds for a wireless in-ear utility device that provides in-ear frequency filtering and can also offer a horn that increases the wireless in-ear utility device's ability to deliver sound. The horn effect can provide higher sound levels while consuming lower battery power. The channels can provide increased safety and comfort for the user. Embodiments of the technology can include accommodation for a balance between the wearable in-ear devices and hearing aids, such as to accommodate the wearable device requiring more sealing in the ear canal for better sound quality, to accommodate the hearing aid seals requiring more leakage for allowing for the user's voice to have an increased naturalness in sound, where the balance between the both can be frequency leakage in the 50 Hz to 300 Hz, which can allow for the seal to produce high quality performance for the two platforms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 26, 2019
    Assignee: Acouva, Inc.
    Inventors: Victor Manuel Valenzuela, Damon Vincent Mercadante
  • Patent number: 10129625
    Abstract: Headphone eartips with internal support components and methods for making the same are provided. Different support components may provide specific amounts and types of additional rigidity at specific portions of an exterior surface of an outer eartip body that may be expected to interface with specific portions of an ear canal geometry when an eartip subassembly is positioned within the ear canal, such that the eartip subassembly may conform to the various shapes of the ear canal while maintaining an acoustic seal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: APPLE INC.
    Inventors: Ethan L. Huwe, Brad G. Boozer, Erik L. Wang, Phillip Qian
  • Patent number: 9364648
    Abstract: Systems and methods are provided for sealing an ear canal for retaining a solution in the ear canal. Adhesive earplugs are provided through which the solution can be delivered, and which, following delivery, retain the fluid in the ear canal. The systems and methods may also be useful for delivering an anesthetizing solution to the ear canal of a human patient and for maintaining the solution therein for use with an iontophoresis system for anesthetizing the tympanic membrane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: TUSKER MEDICAL, INC.
    Inventors: Rohit Girotra, Bernard H. Andreas, Alfredo Cantu, Nikhil Bhat, Mansour Saleki, Shrirang V. Ranade, Miranda Ray
  • Patent number: 9339645
    Abstract: Stimulation of the facial nerve system (e.g., electrically, electromagnetically, etc.) in stroke patients will cause dilation of occluded arteries and dilation of surrounding arteries, allowing for blood flow to circumvent the obstruction and reach previously-deprived tissue. The device approaches the facial nerve and its branches in the vicinity of the ear. In use, the device can be inserted into the ear canal or placed in proximity to the ear in order to stimulate the facial nerve system without puncturing the tympanic membrane (e.g., using an electromagnetic field). The device can also be advanced into the middle ear through a puncture created in the tympanic membrane. Branches of the facial nerve in the middle ear can then be stimulated directly (e.g., by application of electrical current). The device can be used in the emergency treatment of acute stroke or as chronically-implanted/inserted variations for long-term maintenance of blood flow to the brain and stroke prevention.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: Nervive, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark Klingler Borsody
  • Patent number: 8955519
    Abstract: An earplug insertion device can include a housing that is configured to hold a first earplug and a second earplug. The device can also include an ejection mechanism that can be configured to respond to a first user force by ejecting the first earplug from the device in a first ejection motion. The ejection mechanism can also being configured to respond to a second user force by ejecting the second earplug from the device in a second ejection motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: J3 Group, LLC
    Inventors: Shawn Matthew Johnson, John Matthew Johnson, Joshua Ingvald Kenneth Johnson
  • Publication number: 20140373854
    Abstract: At least one exemplary embodiment is directed to an earpiece that includes a fluid in a reservoir where the composition of the fluid or the pressure of the fluid can be modified to vary the insertion loss value of the earpiece.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 10, 2013
    Publication date: December 25, 2014
    Inventor: John P. Keady
  • Publication number: 20140155688
    Abstract: An orifice insertion device includes a stent and a plurality of sealing elements where each sealing element is operatively attached to the stent. Two sealing elements of the plurality of sealing elements include an expandable section configured to be disposed within the orifice and to exert a pressure on an orifice wall sufficient to seal the orifice without appreciable deformation of the orifice wall. The two sealing elements are formed from different materials and a further one of the plurality of sealing elements is configured to seal an opening of the orifice. Other embodiments are disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 10, 2014
    Publication date: June 5, 2014
    Applicant: PERSONICS HOLDINGS, INC
    Inventor: Steven Wayne Goldstein
  • Publication number: 20140076336
    Abstract: An expansible ear canal insert for treating TMJ disorders and headaches which acts directly on the TMJ and associated ligament and muscle structures to reduce stress and loads placed on the articulator disc located between the temporal bone and the mandible, as well as supportive muscles and ligaments near the TMJ. The insert is adapted to expand by application of body heat. In the expanded condition, the insert provides support to the TMJ and associated ligament and muscle structures.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 20, 2013
    Publication date: March 20, 2014
    Inventors: Lawrence G. Clayton, William Coole
  • Patent number: 8631801
    Abstract: Earpieces and expandable insertion devices are provided. An earpiece includes an ambient sound microphone (ASM); an ear canal microphone (ECM); an ear canal receiver (ECR); and an inflatable sealing section. The sealing section includes at least one pressure valve. The at least one pressure valve opens when the pressure in the sealing section is greater than an ambient pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: Personics Holdings, Inc
    Inventor: John Patrick Keady
  • Patent number: 8616214
    Abstract: An earplug for insertion into an ear canal of a user has a front, a back, a side extending between the front and the back, a longitudinal axis, and a transverse axis. A core structure is selectively moveable from an un-deformed position to a deformed, insertable position suitable for insertion of the earplug into the ear canal of the user. A cover covers at least a portion of the core structure and is adapted for contact with the ear canal of the user. An actuator is operatively connected to the core structure for moving the core structure from the un-deformed position to the deformed, insertable position upon application of a force to the actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: KangSoo Park, JungMo Kim, InYoung Sa
  • Publication number: 20120103346
    Abstract: At least one exemplary embodiment is directed to an earplug comprising: at last a partially flexible distal end; an inflatable element; and a flexible anti-distal end, where the anti-distal end has at least one portion that is deformable, where the inflatable element is operatively attached to the distal end by an inflation channel, where when the at least one portion is deformed the inflatable element expands to an adjustable pressure, where at least one portion of the anti-distal end provides a pressurizing force to maintain the expansion of the inflatable element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 16, 2010
    Publication date: May 3, 2012
    Applicant: PERSONICS HOLDINGS INC/
    Inventor: John P. Keady
  • Patent number: 8142870
    Abstract: Sealing devices are presented. The sealing device includes a first material and a second material. The first material responds to energy inputs differently than the second material. The first and second material are operatively connected and configured to be inserted into an orifice.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2012
    Assignee: Personics Holdings Inc.
    Inventor: John P. Keady
  • Patent number: 8122892
    Abstract: By providing an ear plug product incorporating water absorbing capabilities, a highly effective and easily employed ear plug product is realized which is capable of being used for removing water contained in the ear canal of an individual. In one preferred embodiment, the ear plug product of the present invention incorporates water absorbing material integrally formed in the ear plug which immediately draws the water from the ear canal into the ear plug product for being retained in the ear plug. In an alternate preferred embodiment, the ear plug product incorporates at least one elongated, longitudinally extending channel or passageway formed along substantially the entire length of the ear plug product. By incorporating the elongated, longitudinally extending passage-way or channel in the ear plug product, the desired water absorption is achieved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2012
    Assignee: Cirrus Healthcare Products, LLC
    Inventors: Chris Johnson, Drew O'Connell
  • Publication number: 20120000474
    Abstract: An apparatus to reduce the sensitivity of the vestibular system to stimulation. The apparatus comprises a plugging device configured to constrain the movement of endolymph fluid within a semicircular canal, and a control module coupled to the plugging device that causes the plugging device to maintain a set actuated position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 15, 2011
    Publication date: January 5, 2012
    Applicant: Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary
    Inventors: Daniel M. Merfeld, Wangsong Gong, Steven D. Rauch, Richard Terry
  • Publication number: 20110308533
    Abstract: An apparatus and method of anchoring an earpiece is provided. The apparatus includes a flexible member of moldable expandable, semi-adhesive material. The flexible member has a predetermined shape. The method of anchoring an earpiece includes the steps of placing an earpiece in the ear. The method also includes the steps of shaping the flexible member into a ball and placed the shaped flexible member into the concha portion of the ear, such that the shaped flexible member is disposed the earpiece and the antihelix and the earpiece anchor expands to retain the earpiece in the ear.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 5, 2009
    Publication date: December 22, 2011
    Inventor: Devin Benner
  • Patent number: 8025120
    Abstract: An anti-infective stethoscope is described that comprises a tube member; a head member operably connected to the tube member; and first and second earpieces operably connected to the tube member, wherein the tube member and head member include an antimicrobial barrier mechanism. The earpieces may also include an antimicrobial barrier mechanism. According to one embodiment, the antimicrobial barrier mechanism may be provided in the form of a cover comprising an antimicrobial substance wherein the cover operably covers the tube member and head member of the stethoscope. In a preferred form, the antimicrobial barrier mechanism is an antimicrobial substance applied to the tube member, head member, and optionally the earpieces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2011
    Inventor: Patrick E. Eddy
  • Patent number: 7984716
    Abstract: A self-conforming sound attenuation earplug, including: a stem, at least one support joined with the stem and extending radially outward from the stem, and a shell engaging the support and encircling the stem to form a space between the shell and the stem. At least one of the support material and the shell material is a deformable-resilient material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 26, 2011
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide Inc.
    Inventors: Ricky Wayne Purcell, Steven Craig Gehling, Waihong Leong, Anne Clare Moser, Sean S. Corbin, Scott Madison Belliveau
  • Publication number: 20110079227
    Abstract: An inflatable in-ear device incorporates a pressure regulating mechanism, for example a simple length of tubing or a relief/unloader valve, at the inflow or outflow from the inflating sheath inserted within the ear canal, thus allowing pressure regulation of the settable compound being injected for inflation of the sheath while avoiding excesses in pressure in the inflating compound and ensuring the comfort of the individual.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 5, 2010
    Publication date: April 7, 2011
    Inventors: Michael C. Turcot, Jérémie Voix
  • Publication number: 20110079228
    Abstract: An inflatable in-ear device includes a core member with a platform provided with a sealing assembly in the form of a locating recess for the registration of a retention ring formed around a defining opening of a sheath arranged in close circumjacent manner around the platform attached to the core member, an abutment surface being formed on a capping for the platform and the core member whereby in use positive location of the retention ring within the recess is achieved by the closure of the recess by the abutment surface. A space is defined between the sheath and the core member for the injection of a settable material used for the inflation of the sheath once the device is emplaced within the ear canal of the ear.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 5, 2010
    Publication date: April 7, 2011
    Inventors: Michael Maloney, Michael C. Turcot
  • Publication number: 20110079229
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for filling an expandable in-ear device having in-flow and out-flow canals including a plurality of chambers with elastic membranes in which the components of a settable polymer are held under high relative pressure. The component chambers are connected to a common mixing element which mixes the components before they are applied to the in-flow canal of an in-ear device. A sealed relief chamber is connected to the out-flow canal of the in-ear device and receives excessive mixed compound as it exits the in-ear device. The relief chamber is in contact with the elastic membranes of the component chambers such that when the elastic membranes contract the pressure in the relief chamber decreases, maintaining the pressure within a pre-determined pressure range.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 5, 2010
    Publication date: April 7, 2011
    Inventor: Jérémie Voix
  • Patent number: 7861723
    Abstract: An airway obstruction correction apparatus including an expandable bladder configured to fit within a user's external auditory canal, a pump configured to expand the bladder with a pumped fluid, a passage coupled with the pump and with the bladder and configured to convey a fluid between the pump and the bladder, a microcontroller coupled with the pump and configured to affect an activation condition of the pump, and a reservoir coupled with the pump and configured to retain sufficient fluid to expand the bladder into contact with a surface of the auditory canal when transferred to the bladder by the pump. At least one of a local data processing means and/or a remotely located data processing means can be configured to receive data from the apparatus and transmit data to the apparatus via a data networking means and/or at least one of a wired or wireless signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 4, 2011
    Inventors: David L. Dedrick, John Barney
  • Patent number: 7779844
    Abstract: Self-fitting device for location in ear canal, including first end portion joined with second end portion. First end portion including first resilient bladder and first chamber of fluid and second end portion including second resilient bladder and second chamber of fluid. The bladders are in communication via the chambers. First bladder is deformable between at-rest position to in-ear position to insertion position such that first bladder has first cross-sectional area in at-rest position, second cross-sectional area in in-ear position and third cross-sectional area in insertion position. First cross-sectional area is greater than second cross-sectional area which is greater than third cross-sectional area. Second bladder is deformable to cause first bladder to be deformed from at-rest position to insertion position before device is located in ear canal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2010
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Ricky W. Purcell, Gregory J. Rajala, Ki Bok Song, Scott M. Belliveau, Sena S. Corbin, Toriono A. Granger
  • Publication number: 20100095971
    Abstract: By providing an ear plug product incorporating water absorbing capabilities, a highly effective and easily employed ear plug product is realized which is capable of being used for removing water contained in the ear canal of an individual. In one preferred embodiment, the ear plug product of the present invention incorporates water absorbing material integrally formed in the ear plug which immediately draws the water from the ear canal into the ear plug product for being retained in the ear plug. In an alternate preferred embodiment, the ear plug product incorporates at least one elongated, longitudinally extending channel or passageway formed along substantially the entire length of the ear plug product. By incorporating the elongated, longitudinally extending passage-way or channel in the ear plug product, the desired water absorption is achieved.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 20, 2009
    Publication date: April 22, 2010
    Inventors: Chris Johnson, Drew O'Connell
  • Publication number: 20090320858
    Abstract: A self-fitting device for location in an ear canal. The device includes a body having a body ear end, an opposite body user end, and a shaft extending from the ear end to the user end. A resilient bladder is joined with the body ear end and a chamber is defined inside the resilient bladder where the chamber is in communication with the shaft and the resilient bladder has a wall portion and is deformable from an at-rest position to an in-ear position. The resilient bladder has a variable strength profile in the wall portion of the bladder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2008
    Publication date: December 31, 2009
    Inventors: Ricky Wayne Purcell, Scott M. Belliveau, Thomas A. Wozny, Kenneth Michael Ross
  • Publication number: 20090173353
    Abstract: Self-fitting device for location in ear canal and related method, including a bladder joined with a pump assembly via a valve assembly. The pump assembly transfers air to the bladder and achieves a predetermined pressure with the chamber regardless of ear canal size. The predetermined pressure may be achieved by reducing excess air pressure through the valve assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 14, 2007
    Publication date: July 9, 2009
    Inventors: Ricky Wayne Purcell, Debra N. Welchel, Robert A. Drew, Shawn E. Jenkins, Jeffrey Jennings Krueger
  • Patent number: 7515951
    Abstract: An assembly, system, and method particularly adapted for a magnetic resonator apparatus in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning system. Provided is a restraining assembly supportable by the supporting assembly and including at least a system that is selectively operable for positioning and restraining at least a portion of the body to be imaged, thereby optimizing image quality.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2009
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Patrick Kevin Egan, Don Alan Gilliland, Cary Michael Huettner
  • Patent number: 7475686
    Abstract: An earplug comprising a foam composition containing a polyvinyl chloride resin and less than about 5 wt % monomeric phthalate, based on the total weight of the foam composition, is described. The foam composition may include a plasticizer containing less than or equal to about 2 wt % monomeric phthalate, based on the total weight of the plasticizer. The earplugs have slow recovery times from 60 percent compression to 10 percent compression of about 10 to about 60 seconds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2009
    Assignee: Cabot Safety Intermediate Corporation
    Inventors: Richard E. Knauer, Alan R. Seville
  • Publication number: 20080314393
    Abstract: A self-conforming sound attenuation earplug, including: a stem, at least one support joined with the stem and extending radially outward from the stem, and a shell engaging the support and encircling the stem to form a space between the shell and the stem. At least one of the support material and the shell material is a deformable-resilient material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 22, 2007
    Publication date: December 25, 2008
    Inventors: Ricky Wayne Purcell, Steven Craig Gehling, Waihong Leong, Anne Clare Moser, Sean S. Corbin, Scott Madison Belliveau
  • Patent number: 7314047
    Abstract: An earplug is provided including an elongate stem component having a first end and an opposite second end, a first flange disposed on the stem proximate the first end, a second flange disposed on the stem adjacent the first flange, a third flange disposed on the stem adjacent the second flange, opposite the first flange, and proximate the second end, a rib support element formed on the first, second, and third flanges, wherein, the first, second, and third flanges comprise generally hemispherical flange elements extending from the stem in a direction toward the second end such that a generally annular space is formed between inner surfaces of the first, second, and third flanges and the stem, and wherein the rib support element is formed on the inner surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2008
    Assignee: Cabot Safety Intermediate Corporation
    Inventor: Robert Falco
  • Patent number: 7210484
    Abstract: An earplug (10) with a body front portion (22) for insertion into a person's ear canal, has a pocket (30) to increase comfort and is constructed to enhance noise attenuation. The pocket, which allows easier compression of the body front portion for increased comfort, has a plurality of baffles (50) that attenuate sound better than a pocket without baffles. The pocket with baffles is formed by a core pin (80) that lies in an injection mold (82) and that forms the pocket, the core pin having a plurality of slots (81) that form the baffles. The pocket includes a rear portion (36) that forms a wide passage, and the earplug includes a blocker portion (90) that partially or completely closes off the rear pocket passage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2007
    Assignee: Howard Leight Industries, LLC
    Inventors: Jim Tiemens, David Mulvey, Raul Cortez
  • Patent number: 7096872
    Abstract: A process for forming a foamed thermoplastic earplug, comprising the steps of extruding a foamed body of thermoplastic material; shaping the foamed thermoplastic material; and at least partially separating the resulting shaped material for forming individual earplugs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2006
    Inventors: James T. Ligon, Sr., Jeffrey C. Lewis
  • Patent number: 7093600
    Abstract: A device for non-invasively correcting a human external ear is disclosed. The device comprises a flat fixture with an adhesive for sticking the fixture together with two fold parts on an ear which is folded about a folding line along a zone which is to be corrected with a permanent deformation. The fixture can be fixed on the ear easily and conveniently. In attached state, it is hardly visible, and the patient does not feel the fixture as something unpleasant and irritating to wear. The fixture can advantageously be used for correcting a small child's jug-ear which particularly easily can be given a permanent shape within the first few weeks after birth where the concentration of oestradiol is highest.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2006
    Inventor: Michael Miravet Sorribes
  • Patent number: 6981504
    Abstract: An earplug of the type that includes a soft foam body (14) and a more rigid core (16) that stiffens the body during its insertion into the ear canal, is mass produced so the front end (30) of the stiff core cannot rub along the surface of the ear canal during insertion. The core is elongated and bonded to the body, and the core has a front end (30) that is recessed from the front end (36) of the body, so the soft foam material of the body prevents the front end of the core from contacting the ear canal. The earplug can be mass produced by extruding the soft foam through an extrusion head (42), around the cores, with a long core device having been cut into the cores and with the extrusion (52) cut at locations to leave foam material forward of each core front end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2006
    Assignee: Bacou-Dalloz USA Safety, Inc.
    Inventor: John Allen Jenkins, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6938621
    Abstract: A disposable plug has a mask with an orifice aligned at the entry into the ear canal when the plug is inserted into the ear. A sealed envelope has a leading elastic tip that extends forward of the orifice into the ear canal and a trailing reservoir that extends rearward of the orifice. A super-cooled liquid salt substantially fills the envelope. The envelope is sized to contain a sufficient quantity of the liquid salt to deliver heat to the inner ear at a predetermined temperature for a predetermined time period. A convex disk in the reservoir can be manually popped to concave after the tip of the envelope has been inserted into the ear canal to shrink the reservoir and expand the tip into deeper extension into and compliance with the ear canal and to activate solidification of the liquid salt to generate heat into the ear canal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2005
    Inventors: Sareva L. Greenhaw, Lamberto Dionigi
  • Patent number: 6761173
    Abstract: An ear plug to be inserted into the external auditory canal, having a compressible sleeve member and a core member attached therein, the improvement in which plural projections or a single projection are formed intermittently or continuously on an exterior of the core member, and vent is formed through or along the projection to make the external auditory canal communicate with the external atmosphere when inserted into the external auditory canal. A communicating passage or vent to an effective degree for remarkably decreasing the pressure difference between the inside of the external auditory canal and the external atmosphere as well as preventing leakage of sound causing so-called howling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2004
    Assignee: Mimy Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takashi Kuno, Kenjiro Owada, Masahiko Ohgushi
  • Patent number: 6568395
    Abstract: An earplug arrangement enables low cost manufacture and storage of earplugs and convenient dispensing of individual earplugs. The earplugs are formed from an extrusion of a maximum diameter of about 12 mm and with narrow locations spaced apart by about 1 to 5 cm to separate the extrusion into a chain of at least ten earplugs, where the last earplug of the chain of earplugs formed by the extrusion can be cut from the rest of the chain for insertion into a person's ear canal. The chain of earplugs is stored in a plurality of loops in a container, as in a plurality of loops wrapped about a cylinder. The extrusion can include a stiffening core of stiff first material and an extruded covering of a soft resilient foam second material surrounding the core, the thickness of the second material being less than half as great at the narrowed locations as at maximum diameter locations while the core is of uniform cross-section along the entire length of the extrusion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2003
    Assignee: Bacou-Balloz USA Safety, Inc.
    Inventor: Jim Tiemens
  • Patent number: 6513621
    Abstract: This invention discloses an ear tip used in connection with a stethoscope. Whereby the disclosed ear tip is formed of a single piece of molded elastomeric material that is inverted and sealed to form a sealed chamber that is filled with a liquid gelatin, whereby standard loads deform the liquid gelatin filled cavity under principles of displacement providing for the ear tips capability of contouring to the infinite variations and configurations of different outer ear canals, and thereby creating a complete acoustic seal between the outer surface of the ear tip and the outer ear of the user. Furthermore, this invention discloses a means of attachment to a listening device that facilitates the attachment and removal of the ear tip to the listening device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2000
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2003
    Assignee: Doctors Research Group
    Inventors: Richard J. Deslauriers, Robert T. Potash, Lewis W. Chappel
  • Patent number: 6484726
    Abstract: A foam earplug that includes a first segment a second segment and a predetermined articulation zone disposed between the first segment and the second segment. The earplug exhibits an equilibrium bend force of no greater than about 10 g.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2002
    Assignee: 3M Innovative Properties Company
    Inventors: Dean M. Remer, Paul A. Martinson
  • Patent number: 6427800
    Abstract: The invention relates to a sound-attenuating ear plug, comprising an elongate elastic body (103) adapted to be inserted at least partially into an auditory meatus. A foil (117) which is rounded in the longitudinal direction (115) of the body (103) and which is extended transversely of this longitudinal direction (115) is responsible for the major part of the sound-attenuating effect of the ear plug. The invention also relates to a method of manufacturing such an ear plug.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2002
    Assignee: Dalloz Safety AB
    Inventors: Per Hiselius, Lars Nilsson
  • Patent number: 6425398
    Abstract: An earplug (20) is provided which allows conversation to be conducted whilst inserted in the ear, and blocks out certain noise without substantially sealing the ear canal, and causing discomfort to the wearer. In one embodiment, the earplug includes a first cylindrical element (28) open at one end (30), having a substantially convex shape at its other end (34) for insertion into the outer ear canal, and a second element (32) which fits into the open end of the first cylindrical element to form a connecting juncture therewith. The first and second elements have air circulation means.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 30, 2002
    Inventor: Eallan Hirshfeld
  • Patent number: 6364052
    Abstract: Noise-reducing earplugs include a configuration and surface ornamentation to resemble a product other than earplugs, or a container for such a product. For example, such earplugs may have a generally cylindrical configuration and appropriate surface ornamentation to resemble can-type containers as are used for beverages (e.g., soft drinks or beer) and other liquid products (e.g., paints, oils, fuel additives, etc.).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: Ivan McLean, Inc.
    Inventor: Ivan McLean
  • Patent number: 6164409
    Abstract: A non porous wax guard for an in-the-canal hearing aid is in the form of a membrane or diaphragm which completely covers the mouth of the round or other shape outlet of the hearing aid. The membrane is made of plastic or metalized plastic, or stainless steel, having a diameter of between 0.20 inches and 3/8 inch, and a thickness of between 0.0005 inches and 0.001 inches. The membrane is affixed to the mouth of the sound outlet by a number of methods. It may be attached to a thin ring of plastic material, and attached with a spring clip to a recess in the sound outlet. It may simply be bonded, by adhesive or heat bonding, to the recess. It may be affixed to a cylindrical mount, and press-fit into the port. Or, as an alternative, the cylindrical mount may be threaded, and mated with an internal thread cut into the sound outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2000
    Inventor: Ralph Berger
  • Patent number: 6138790
    Abstract: A noise blocking band earplug has a band (12) with outer portions (44, 46) that are bent to prevent the ear-engaging pods (20, 22) from touching the ground, whether placed right-side-up or upside-down on the ground. When the middle region (32) of the band rests on a horizontal surface (64), a band inner end part (70) extends at an upward incline (C) with its outer end forming a second bend (80) so the outer end part (72) extends at a downward incline (D), with the second bend preventing the pods from touching the ground when the earplug is laid upside-down. At the second bend (80), the largely vertical height (J) of the band is increased and its outer surface (102) is made convex to provide pads for more readily pressing the pods against the outside of the ear canals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2000
    Assignee: Bacou USA Safety, Inc.
    Inventor: Howard S. Leight
  • Patent number: 6129175
    Abstract: An acoustical control earpiece comprised of non-foamed polyvinyl chloride plastisol. The earpieces may be acoustical hearing protective earplugs as well as overmolds and covers for audio sound reproduction devices such as headphones, speakers, and hearing aids, and may be used alone or in conjunction with hearing protector bands or eyewear. The earplugs may have an open or closed internal void therewithin, are adapted for receipt into the concha and ear canal of a wearer. The earpieces may be formed by injection molding, roto-molding, or slush molding. The hardness of the earpieces has a 00 Durometer hardness value of about 10 to 90 and preferably ranging 40 to 60.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2000
    Assignee: Radians, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael S. Tutor, Robert W. Green
  • Patent number: 6068079
    Abstract: Acoustic valve capable of selective and non-linear filtering of sound and placeable in a perforated ear plug. The acoustic valve consists of a tube enclosing two rigid disks axially spaced opposite each other, each of the disks containing at least one perforation. The total perforated surface of at least one disk is between 0.03 and 0.5 mm.sup.2.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 30, 2000
    Assignee: I.S.L. Institut Franco-Allemand de Recherches de Saint-Louis
    Inventors: Pascal Hamery, Armand Dancer, Georges Evrard
  • Patent number: 5996584
    Abstract: A composite reusable sound attenuating or transmitting device, especially an ear plug, is formed from a core, about which is adhered a strip of slow recovery foam. After each use of the device, the strip of foam is generally removed and discarded; typically, a new strip is applied the next time the device is used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: Hearing Components, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert J. Oliveira, Davis W. Chamberlin
  • Patent number: 5904143
    Abstract: A foam earplug for reception at least partially within the ear canal, including a body portion formed of resilient foam plastic material. The foam material has an open cell structure, a size and shape for at least partial reception within the ear canal. The earplug has an outer thin coating of a non-permeable elastomeric material and with the coating forming a skin bonded on the body portion, non-permeable to air, at least in the area of the body portion received within the ear canal for providing an increase in attenuation of sound as compared with the attenuation of sound produced by resilient foam plastic material without the thin coating of the non-impermeable elastomeric material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 18, 1999
    Inventors: Mark Magidson, Steve Young
  • Patent number: 5868139
    Abstract: A hollow earpiece has a bulbous section for insertion into the ear canal and a flange section joined to the bulbous section by a neck with an opening in the tip of the bulbous section to allow water from the ear canal to enter into the bulbous section and an elongated hollow tube coupled to the earpiece at the earpiece neck with one open end of the tube located within the bulbous section and the other open end adaptable for applying a suction to remove water from the user's ear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1999
    Inventor: Steve Zeece, Sr.