Medical devices company 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. 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,” Mr Bendix explains.
Patented in China, Europe (including the UK), and Russia, the company has also now filed for an application in the United States.
The SenSura Mio won the Danish Design Awards with the jury calling the product an “innovative development of the stoma bag.”