By Serena Christiansson, Hague Development and Promotion Section, Hague Registry, WIPO
What is the first country that springs to mind when you think of design? For many in Europe, Italy is surely a front-runner. From fashion and cars, to furniture and architecture, Italy is globally recognized as a trendsetter and a leader in the world of design.
Strategically located midway between luxurious Portofino and UNESCO World Heritage Site “Cinque Terre”, the small town of San Colombano Certenoli is home to leading designers in quite a different domain. Seacsub S.p.A. specializes in scuba diving, snorkeling and spearfishing equipment. Their 'Unica' full-face snorkeling mask is perhaps one of their best-known products and most successful design.
For almost a century, snorkeling masks have remained essentially the same, with limited design innovation. Although full-face snorkeling masks started to appear on the market, they were heavy, cumbersome and unappealing. Seacsub came up with such a game-changing design with their Unica fullface mask, that they have completely revolutionized snorkeling, setting the bar very high from the customer experience perspective.
The motivation behind the mask? To make the wonders of the underwater world accessible to everyone – even the youngest and most inexperienced – and to make snorkeling a comfortable, natural and enjoyable experience. Their creation has become ubiquitous.
Moving away from heavy, rigid, one-size fits all masks, Unica’s design – which is both practical and adaptable – is light, comfortable and visually attractive. An added bonus; it comes in four different sizes – two for children, two for adults. With ever-increasing demand, Unica – to Seacsub’s surprise – was within no time at all available even in supermarkets and toyshops. The design has been a huge success and is commonplace in the ocean and swimming pools alike.
We firmly believe that the 'Sea is Calling' to us all. We are very proud to have given so many people the chance to answer that call.Daniele Arata, CEO, Seacsub S.p.A.
In March 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic reaching a peak in Northern Italy and personal protection equipment in short supply, Seacsub’s engineers used their design and innovative flare to transform Unica into an essential device for Italy’s front-line medical workers.
How? By removing the snorkel and using a specific adaptor, they were able to add compatible filters. The result? A reusable piece of personal protective equipment that the Italian Government quickly endorsed for use as an effective tool to protect against COVID-19.
We were not afraid to deviate so far from our core business. We’ve only done what’s right. When you have the skills, you also have the responsibility to use them.Daniele Arata
Seacsub are rightly very proud of what they have achieved with this design.
You can find out more about Seacsub’s Hague System-protected designs in WIPO's Hague Express Database.
WIPO’s Hague System provides a unique international mechanism for securing and managing design rights simultaneously in multiple countries or regions through one application, in one language with one set of fees.
(August 27, 2021)