Almost as suddenly as the patent battle between GN ReSound and William Demant Holdings flared up, the parties have agreed to snuff it out — seemingly for good. In a joint announcement last week, GN and Demant (parent of Oticon-brand hearing aids) announced they reached an agreement “to settle all patent disputes between the two companies, thereby terminating all patent litigations — both in Europe, including Denmark, and in North America.”
The settlement, which goes into place immediately, removes a big distraction from both companies as they compete for share in a global hearing aid market that’s recently been disrupted by new low-end competitors and by the management shakeup at Starkey Hearing Technologies last fall.
At issue in the dispute were 15 patents covering wireless technologies that will be increasingly important as manufacturers develop more ways to integrate hearing aids with smartphones and other wireless devices. The two companies added that “the considerations leading to the settlement have created a better understanding of how to solve possible future disputes.
The join announcement said GN will make an annual net license payment to William Demant and that the settlement will have no material financial impact on either party.