Unusual precedent sees manufacturer obtaining patent for colour
Coloplast has been granted patents for the colour of its new grey SenSura Mio stoma bag, which makes it almost invisible under white clothing.
It is usually impossible to be granted patents for colours. However, in an unusual precedent, Denmark-based Coloplast has been able to obtain the patent because the colour gives increased discreetness under white clothing and is colour-blind to skin-tone.
Jakob Bendix, an industrial designer with Coloplast, said: “Normally a colour cannot be an invention, because the assumption is that all colours are found in nature. But, in this case, we have invented a functionality using a colour. We’ve created an optical illusion, so to speak. We’ve been able to document the fact the colour makes the stoma bag more discreet and less visible under thin clothing. That’s the reason we’ve been able to patent it.”
In addition to concealing the bag, the grey tone of the SenSura Mio is intended to look more like a modern gadget than a traditional prosthetic device.
“Stoma bags have been beige for the past 40 years or so, but we’d like to offer a better solution,” said Bendix.
The beige colour makes it look like a traditional prosthetic device, which makes people think of hospitals and think of the user as a patient. Instead, we’d like to turn the stoma bag into a modern gadget, but users also want to be discreet about their stoma.”