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Unique Hearing Aid Receives Patent Protection

Revolutionary Device Is Almost Invisible

SHELTON, Conn., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Vivatone(R) Hearing Systems received a U.S. patent today on its revolutionary new open-ear hearing device.

Hearing aids traditionally have been bulky devices that plugged up the ear canal, causing a person's voice to sound like they are in a barrel when speaking. Vivatone(R) revolutionized the hearing aid industry in April, 2004 with the introduction of its open-ear hearing aid. Vivatone(R)'s small microphone and digital sound processor fit comfortably behind the ear and connect to the miniature speaker in the center of the person's ear canal.

Because the Vivatone(R) hearing aid leaves the ear canal open, natural sound continues to flow into the ear around the speaker. In addition to the hearing enhancement provided by the digital sound processor, the wearer enjoys the natural sound of their residual hearing. The tiny device is cosmetically appealing and on most people it's almost invisible.

Vivatone(R)'s chairman, Leon C. Hirsch, stated that, "The acceptance of this totally new concept was remarkable. Vivatone(R) was the first company to introduce an open fit, receiver-in-the-ear hearing aid system and patent its development. Subsequently, other companies recognized the value of receiver-in-the-ear and copied Vivatone(R)'s invention. It is gratifying to know that after more than two years of other companies copying Vivatone(R) products, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has validated Vivatone(R)'s claims for patent protection on its unique product line."

The growth potential in the hearing aid market is significant. Ten percent of the population of the industrialized world suffers from some form of impairment that can be helped by hearing aids. Despite the potential benefit to these sufferers, 80% of these potential users do not wear hearing aids. Even with only 20% penetration in the United States, annual hearing aid sales are in the billions.

Vivatone(R) markets a full line of speaker-in-the-ear, open-ear products for sale in the U.S., and throughout the world. In addition to its newly-issued U.S. patent, the company has patent protection in Japan and has been notified that a European patent will issue shortly.

SOURCE Vivatone(R) Hearing Systems
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