According to the Articles of association of K/S HIMPP:
“The Partnership recognizes the important role of legitimate intellectual property rights in fostering innovation, but also recognizes that patent rights granted without complete knowledge of prior art can hinder rather than help the advance of technology.”
HIMPP members are among the world’s most advanced hearing instrument manufacturers. They develop, manufacture and market over 90% of the hearing technology available to consumers worldwide. The objective of HIMPP is to promote development of advanced and cost effective hearing instruments to benefit the hearing impaired.
One of HIMPP’s main missions is to foster innovation in the hearing instrument industry. HIMPP monitors new technological developments and may decide to acquire patent rights in order to make them available to the hearing instrument industry on equal and reasonable terms, either as a partner licensee or as a third party licensee. HIMPP may also acquire patent portfolios for defensive purposes to avoid them falling in the hands of non-practicing entities who might use them against the industry. All HIMPP partners contribute financially to such acquisitions.
The HIMPP patent portfolio is licensed to interested parties at terms that have remained the same since the founding of HIMPP in 1996
There are no restrictions on HIMPP partners or licensees regarding their product design or commercial marketing. Nothing in the HIMPP restrains partners or licensees from making improvements to patented technology or developing competing technology. The arrangement does not contain any provision that might create a disincentive to innovate. HIMPP partners remain competitors and manage their own intellectual property rights, independently of HIMPP. In fact, HIMPP partners do take legal action against each other and are not precluded from doing so while remaining members of HIMPP. However, such adversarial activities are handled independently by the parties involved and HIMPP is neither a privy nor a participant.
HIMPP also monitors patent developments worldwide as part of its efffort to protect the industry from overly broad patent claims which threaten fair competition. Having deep roots in the technology space of hearing technology, HIMPP is well suited to analyze developments in the industry and to identify prior art that may not have been taken into account by patent offices, including the European Patent Office, The Japanese Patent Office, and the United States Patent & Trademark Office. HIMPP seeks to promote innovation by making sure that patent rights are appropriate in scope and do not preempt legitimate commercial activity that benefits the hearing impaired. HIMPP does this through administrative actions at national patent offices, purchasing patents, or licensing patents.