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This week, Arduino announced a lot of new hardware including an exceptionally interesting FPGA development board aimed at anyone wanting to dip their toes into the seas of VHDL and developing with programmable logic. We think it’s the most interesting bit of hardware Arduino has released since their original dev board, and everyone is wondering what the hardware actually is, and what it can do.

This weekend at Maker Faire Bay Area, Arduino was out giving demos for all their wares, and yes, the Arduino MKR Vidor 4000 was on hand, being shown off in a working demo. We have a release date and a price. It’ll be out next month (June 2018) for about $60 USD.

But what about the hardware, and what can it do? From the original press releases, we couldn’t even tell how many LUTs this FPGA had. There were a lot of questions about the Mini PCIe connectors, and we didn’t know how this FPGA would be useful for high-performance computation like decoding video streams. Now we have the answers.

The FPGA on board the Arduino Vidor is an Altera Cyclone 10CL016. This chip has 16k logic elements, and 504 kB memory block. This is on the low end of Altera’s FPGA lineup, but it’s still no slouch. In the demo video below, it’s shown decoding video and identifying QR codes in real time. That’s pretty good for what is effectively a My First FPGA™ board.

Also on board the Vidor is a SAMD21 Cortex-M0+ microcontroller and a uBlox module housing an ESP-32 WiFi and Bluetooth module. This is a really great set of chips, and if you’re looking to get into FPGA development, this might just be the board for you. We haven’t yet seen the graphic editor that will be used to work with IP for the FPGA (for those who don’t care to write their own VHDL or Verilog), but we’re looking forward to the unveiling of that new software.

If you’re tired of watching normal YouTube videos, why not take it to the Max with MAX Maker? Max’s projects are an eclectic mix of well-made builds, ranging from a motorized camera slider, to a steak knife handle, to a large ruler case. If you do watch his videos, you’ll […]

Read more on MAKE

The post Weekend Watch: Everything from Rock Climbing to Camera Rigs with MAX Maker appeared first on Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers.

Mar
28

Arduino SRL to Distributors: “We’re the REAL Arduino”

arduino, arduino hacks, Arduino SRL, distributors, Featured, Licensing, News, slider, trademark Commenti disabilitati su Arduino SRL to Distributors: “We’re the REAL Arduino” 

Arduino SRL (formerly known as Smart Projects SRL) sent out a letter to its distribution partners yesterday. If you’ve been following along with the Arduino vs Arduino story (we’ve previously published two installments), the content isn’t entirely surprising; it’s essentially a tactical move to reassure their distribution channels that Arduino SRL is the “One True Arduino”. That said, there’s still some new tidbits buried inside. You can skip down to read the full text below, but here’s our take.

The Business History of Arduino

arduino_vs_arduino_tnA quick summary of the legal situation. Arduino LLC was formed in April 2008 by the original five founders to provide a corporate entity behind the Arduino project. Smart Projects SRL, controlled by one of the founders, was tasked with the actual production of the boards. It turns out that Smart Projects had trademarked the Arduino brand in Italy in December 2008, before Arduino LLC got around to filing in April 2009 in the USA. But everyone was friends, right? As long as the licensing fees keep flowing.

Fast-forward to September 2014, when Arduino LLC filed a lawsuit in Italy against Smart Projects claiming that they had infringed LLC’s trademark and that they had recently stopped paying licensing fees on their use of the Arduino name. In October, Smart Projects filed with the USPTO to revoke Arduino LLC’s trademark. In late 2014, Smart Projects changed its company name to Arduino SRL (a “Società a responsabilità limitata” is one form of Italian limited-liability company) and hired a new CEO, [Federico Musto].  Around the same time, Arduino SRL opened up the website arduino.org (different from long-existing arduino.cc) but with nearly identical style. In January 2015, Arduino LLC filed a lawsuit in the US, claiming their right on the Arduino name.

The Gist of it

In short, Arduino LLC has been working on developing the Arduino platform, software, and community while Smart Projects / Arduino SRL was the major official producer of the hardware for most boards. Both are claiming to “be” Arduino, and going after each other in court. So it’s not strange that Arduino SRL would like to try to keep its hold on the distribution channels. Which brings us to their letter to distributors.

March 27 Letter

Arduino-Distributor-Update-0A good portion of the letter reads to be a very carefully worded defense of why Arduino SRL is the true Arduino:

“Arduino Srl (aka Smart Projects Srl), as you know has been from the  beginning of the Arduino® project, the place where the ideas were turned into reality and into a business.”

This is of course strictly true — Smart Projects was certainly the largest manufacturer of Arduino boards. But it sidesteps the issue at hand in the trademark suits: whether they were simply a licensed producer of the boards or whether they’re “Arduino”.

Similarly, in the questions section of the letter, they ask if there are actually two “Arduino” product manufacturers, and answer “not really”. Of course, that’s true. Arduino LLC doesn’t manufacture boards, but exists to license their trademark out to fund development.

The only real news in the letter is that Arduino SRL is replacing its old distribution and logistics company, Magyc Now, with a new one named CC Logistics. Both Magyc and CC Logistics are named as defendants in the US lawsuit filed by Arduino LLC, so it’s unlikely that this change is due to legal fallout.

What this Means

In conclusion, Arduino SRL’s letter to its distributors seems to essentially follow the line of reasoning in their trademark lawsuit in the US against Arduino LLC: since Arduino SRL is doing the manufacturing and using the Arduino name, they’re the true Arduino. Whether or not this will stand up in court, or whether Arduino LLC can make its case that SRL was simply a licensed manufacturer, remains to be seen.

We’ve embedded the contents of the letter after the break. You can also download the original PDF.

Ivrea (TO) , March 27, 2015

Dear Partners,

At this time we feel it necessary to update our partners on the state of Arduino® products and the distribution business which you are a key part of.

Arduino Srl (aka Smart Projects Srl), as you know has been from the beginning of the Arduino® project, the place where the ideas were turned into reality and into a business. The first Arduino® models were made and initially distributed to schools of interactive design all over the world.

Arduino® products were then offered to the first DIY enthusiasts, contributing concretely, as one of the first open source electronic boards, to found and promote the Makers Movement: your strong efforts and contribution have made this great new movement a success and has grown in many new exciting areas like IoT and m2m. A realization that will change the world of electronics and communications in the physical world.

The family of Arduino® boards has helped professional and non-professional developers to prototype electrical projects and learn in a way that is accessible and possible for everyone.

Currently, Arduino Srl continues to be the only designer and manufacturer of original Arduino® products.

Open Source is the environment we want for millions of designers, engineers, makers and Arduino® lovers around the world. We hope to continue to help children and newbies learn about electrical engineering and computer programming, in order to develop and grow their ideas for today and tomorrow.

This fantastic story and these ideals will continue on the new website Arduino.org, which has been developed to ensure we stay true to the vision of the beginning of Arduino® and Arduino Srl and our distribution of these cool products.

Beginning in 2015 new changes have been put into place to ensure that our companies can continue to grow with the popularity of the Arduino® product line. The production of these high quality products continue to be done in Europe and specifically Italy which has been very successful.

Our distribution and logistics are going through a change for a couple of reasons, to help with faster deliveries and lower transport costs, we have a new company structure cc logistics that have offices and warehouses in three continents, EMEA Cham Switzerland, North American Boston Massachusetts and APAC Honk Kong and Taipei.

Additionally lots of work are being completed to get inventories in line with demand. New personnel are being added to in many areas for response to your buying needs but also in the sales and support areas to ensure we are creating demand for Arduino products and for our distribution channel. These new sales people from time to time will be in contact to forge closer working relationships.

To help inform our partners of some questions recently raised in the press and other areas:

Q: Are there two “Arduino® ” branded products manufacturers?

A: Not really, the only company that ever designed and manufactured the “Arduino® ” branded product is Arduino Srl (formerly Smart Projects Srl). Others, for a number of reasons, have created in USA and Switzerland “Arduino” named companies. Some have been involved in completing contracts for web site development and PR (namely Arduino SA – Switzerland take cares of the web site arduino.cc has been one of those). Clearly this has been the place to go for open source info in the past, but we will make arduino.org your new comprehensive location for this info and other valuable resources and services.

Q: I have heard in the press that there is a disagreement going on amongst initial founders of the open source project which inspired the Arduino® business.

A: Yes, there is a disagreement between the initial founders of the open source project (which have never been shareholders of Arduino Srl) and the actual management of Arduino Srl. We are confident that these issues will come to a conclusion shortly. Frankly some of these issues are complex because related to the validity of the registration of the trademark “Arduino® ” in some areas of the world and cannot be summarized in few words. In this respect just bear in mind that Arduino Srl (aka Smart Projects Srl) has been the sole manufacturer of the original “Arduino® ” branded products, selling and distributing them world wide for 10 years.

Q: Will cc logistics replace Magyc as distribution points ?

A: That is the big plan but exceptions may happen due to the nature of doing a worldwide distribution. cc logistics will help our makers to produce and distribute their projects in a world wide arena.

Q: Will Arduino make new products and new software?

A: Yes, new software and new products are the life blood of Arduino® . Recently new products, Arduino® Zero Pro, Arduino® , 9 Axes shield partnership with Bosch and many more are coming.

Q: Will Arduino forge technology partnership?

A: Arduino is in the forefront of new exciting fields like IoT and m2m which is an exciting direction of the type of prototyping done with present day Arduino® products. We are in constant contact with major companies exploring these exciting fields. The Arduino YUN with its wifi capabilities and open source processing has ignited lots of new opportunities.

Q: Arduino EMEA, APAC and NA Distributors Sales Meeting

A: We are planning and will notify you of the details of the first global annual meeting

Q: Is there a New Management structure in Arduino ?

A: As it happens in every company that grows as fast as the Arduino environment, additional expertises and capabilities are needed to help steer the company in the correct direction. Federico Musto is the new CEO of Arduino group and he has a strong background in the open source business.

You are Arduino and we are honored and privileged to work with you – Arduino isn’t the company, nor the board, nor the software nor the founders – the Arduino is YOU – You made Arduino® what it is today and you’ll continue to make it what it will be in the future.

Thank you in advance for your help and support

Arduino team

Arduino Srl
legal adress: Via Romano, 12 – 10010 Scarmagno (TO) Italy
shipping address: Via Kennedy, 36 – 10019 Strambino (TO) Italy


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Featured, news, slider
Mar
12

Arduino v Arduino: Part II

arduino, arduino hacks, lawsuit, News, slider, trademark Commenti disabilitati su Arduino v Arduino: Part II 

Since our last article covering the Arduino v. Arduino case, we’ve received a couple of tips, done some more digging, and learned a lot more about what’s going on. We thought it was time to share the story with you as it develops.

The Players

In short, there are two companies calling themselves “Arduino” at the moment. One, Arduino LLC was founded by [Massimo Banzi], [David Cuartielles], [David Mellis], [Tom Igoe] and [Gianluca Martino] in 2009, runs the website arduino.cc, and has been directing and releasing the code that makes it all work. Most of these folks had been working together on what would become the Arduino project since as early as 2005.

The other “Arduino” used to be called Smart Projects and was the manufacturing arm of the project founded and run by [Gianluca Martino]. Smart Projects changed their name to Arduino SRL in November 2014. (A “Società a responsabilità limitata” is one form of Italian limited-liability company.) They have been a major producer of Arduino boards from the very beginning and recently registered the domain arduino.org.

Around the time of the name change [Martino] sold his shares to a Swiss firm Gheo SA and [Federico Musto] was appointed CEO. Gheo SA is owned and directed by [Musto], who also runs a design consultancy based in the US and Taiwan called dog hunter, LLC.

dog hunter and [Musto] helped develop the Arduino Yun, a mashup of an Arduino with an OpenWRT-compatible WiFi router. dog hunter also runs the Linino.org website to support the Linux distribution that’s running on the router part of the Yun.

In short, on one side is Arduino LLC, run by the original Arduino Five and hosting arduino.cc. On the other is now called Arduino SRL, run by a former co-developer [Federico Musto] who bought out the largest producer of Arduino boards and opened up arduino.org.

The Legal Situation

When we previously reported that Arduino LLC brought a lawsuit against Arduino SRL, we only had half of the story. This suit, filed in January 2015 and still pending, is predated by an earlier trademark action filed by Arduino SRL against Arduino LLC.

The trademark case is a petition to cancel Arduino LLC’s trademark on Arduino, filed by Smart Projects SRL on October 3, 2014. This case is also still pending, and because it’s in front of the USPTO, it’s entirely visible. Here’s what we know.

The claims to invalidate Arduino LLC’s trademark on “Arduino” (PDF) can basically be summarized as follows: “We filed for trademark in September of 2014 and have been producing boards labelled Arduino since 2005. Arduino LLC only came into being in 2009 and wasn’t in control of the name at the time it applied for the trademark.”

To which Arduino LLC’s response (PDF) essentially reads “We’ve had the trademark on the word Arduino longer than you have, and we deny all the rest.”

The timeline for the case is laid out here (PDF). Basically, the discovery phase lasts until June 2015, and there’s not going to be a decision until after Christmas unless they settle early.

We’re not lawyers, but it looks like the case is going to revolve around whether or not Arduino LLC actually controlled the “Arduino” name at the time it trademarked it, and whether the extensive production of boards labelled “Arduino” by Smart Projects invalidates that trademark. The relevant trademark law can be found here and if you know your stuff on this, please feel free to illuminate us in the comments or with a direct e-mail to us directly or through the tip line.

So to recap the story so far, two websites, two “Arduinos”, and two lawsuits.

A Tale of Two Internets of Things

Not surprisingly, both groups have differing versions of where to go from here, but both sides are betting on the Internet of Things. Arduino LLC has partnered with Intel on the Galileo and more recently is working with BeagleBoard.org on the forthcoming Arduino TRE. Arduino SRL is sticking with the WiFi router MIPS solution that powers the Yun and keeping it in-house.

yun_one

As previously mentioned, the Yun was at least co-designed with [Musto] and dog hunter. And now on arduino.org, there’s a placeholder product photo for the “Arduino Yun Mini” with the date April 30, 2015 attached. The Yun Mini looks exactly like the Linino One in a different color scheme, and it doesn’t take much of a hardware detective to put two and two together, given that [Musto] is now CEO of both dog hunter (which runs Linino.org) and Arduino SRL. The Yun Mini is, naturally, conspicuously lacking from the arduino.cc product lineup.

 

ArduinoTre_LandingPage.jpg

The next step up from the Yun on the arduino.cc site is the Arduino TRE, which is also a Linux-based solution coupled with an ATmega32u4. In this case, however, the Linux computer comes in the form of a 1-GHz Sitara AM335x processor, essentially a Beaglebone/Arduino mashup. And one can’t help but notice the tagline on the TRE page: “Arduino TRE, the first Arduino board manufactured in the U.S.” which is a dramatic shift away from the proudly “Made in Italy” silkscreens that adorn the Smart Projects / Arduino SRL boards.

Is this the reason for the schism? Massimo Banzi has said that he’s interested in working with many other producers to get newer and better Arduino products out there and would even like to be able to sell in China, land of the clones. (translate)  [Martino] and now [Musto] clearly have a vested interest in keeping production in Italy, while Arduino LLC’s interests are better served by going global. Perhaps it’s only natural that the two part ways.

The Code

Finally, the story takes a slightly cheeky turn in the most recent version of the Arduino IDE, released on March 10. As of version 1.6.1, there’s been a patch to the Arduino codebase that pops up a warning dialog when an “Arduino” with the USB Vendor ID (VID) 0x2A03 is flashed. The pop-up message reads “This board comes from an uncertified manufacturer. We won’t be able to provide any support if it doesn’t work as expected.”

unnamed

You may not be surprised that USB VID 0x2A03 belongs to “dog hunter AG”.  The Arduino IDE pops up the “uncertified manufacturer” warning any time that this VID is used, on any board type. Conspicuously missing in all of this are any of the VIDs in use by the various other counterfeit “Arduino” boards running around out there. Either there are too many of them to address directly, or this is a targeted, tactical strike against the Arduino SRL camp.

If you don’t have a board with VID 0x2A03, you can see the changes to the IDE on GitHub for the commit “Added warning for uncertified boards“.  Scroll on down to the changes to the file “hardware/arduino/avr/boards.txt” and you’ll see what’s going on. (And smile if you don’t have to code in Java for a living: nearly 600 lines of code added just to implement a simple pop-up dialog!)

Apparently, at least a couple of people with an UNO and a Mega256 have seen the warning and claim to have bought their devices through reputable retailers, including Mouser.

Now this isn’t an FTDI-style bricking; it’s just a pop-up dialog. What’s even nicer is that it comes with a “Don’t show me again” button so that you’re not constantly nagged. And it does recognize the boards so that they function normally, but it’s definitely a scare for users when they first stumble upon it.

The Future

So what does all of this mean for the future of Arduino as we know it? There’s certainly been a code fork and there are at least two divergent hardware design approaches to the IoT and strategic visions for the two firms. The trademark issues may not be resolved until 2016, though, so in the mean time there’s going to be significant market confusion. Not to mention the two similar websites.

You can certainly bet that both companies will be pushing themselves to get good product to market and trying to keep hold on the community. Maybe that will all be good for us in the end? Post your wild guesses and conspiracy theories in the comments.

We’ll keep you posted when we learn even more.  If you’ve got leads that you’d like us to chase down, hit us up on the tip line.

And thanks very much to [Concerned User] for the tipoff to the trademark filing and to [Another Anonymous Tipster] for the tip to the IDE version 1.6.1 changes.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, news, slider
Mar
12

Arduino v Arduino: Part II

arduino, arduino hacks, lawsuit, News, slider, trademark Commenti disabilitati su Arduino v Arduino: Part II 

Since our last article covering the Arduino v. Arduino case, we’ve received a couple of tips, done some more digging, and learned a lot more about what’s going on. We thought it was time to share the story with you as it develops.

The Players

In short, there are two companies calling themselves “Arduino” at the moment. One, Arduino LLC was founded by [Massimo Banzi], [David Cuartielles], [David Mellis], [Tom Igoe] and [Gianluca Martino] in 2009, runs the website arduino.cc, and has been directing and releasing the code that makes it all work. Most of these folks had been working together on what would become the Arduino project since as early as 2005.

The other “Arduino” used to be called Smart Projects and was the manufacturing arm of the project founded and run by [Gianluca Martino]. Smart Projects changed their name to Arduino SRL in November 2014. (A “Società a responsabilità limitata” is one form of Italian limited-liability company.) They have been a major producer of Arduino boards from the very beginning and recently registered the domain arduino.org.

Around the time of the name change [Martino] sold his shares to a Swiss firm Gheo SA and [Federico Musto] was appointed CEO. Gheo SA is owned and directed by [Musto], who also runs a design consultancy based in the US and Taiwan called dog hunter, LLC.

dog hunter and [Musto] helped develop the Arduino Yun, a mashup of an Arduino with an OpenWRT-compatible WiFi router. dog hunter also runs the Linino.org website to support the Linux distribution that’s running on the router part of the Yun.

In short, on one side is Arduino LLC, run by the original Arduino Five and hosting arduino.cc. On the other is now called Arduino SRL, run by a former co-developer [Federico Musto] who bought out the largest producer of Arduino boards and opened up arduino.org.

The Legal Situation

When we previously reported that Arduino LLC brought a lawsuit against Arduino SRL, we only had half of the story. This suit, filed in January 2015 and still pending, is predated by an earlier trademark action filed by Arduino SRL against Arduino LLC.

The trademark case is a petition to cancel Arduino LLC’s trademark on Arduino, filed by Smart Projects SRL on October 3, 2014. This case is also still pending, and because it’s in front of the USPTO, it’s entirely visible. Here’s what we know.

The claims to invalidate Arduino LLC’s trademark on “Arduino” (PDF) can basically be summarized as follows: “We filed for trademark in September of 2014 and have been producing boards labelled Arduino since 2005. Arduino LLC only came into being in 2009 and wasn’t in control of the name at the time it applied for the trademark.”

To which Arduino LLC’s response (PDF) essentially reads “We’ve had the trademark on the word Arduino longer than you have, and we deny all the rest.”

The timeline for the case is laid out here (PDF). Basically, the discovery phase lasts until June 2015, and there’s not going to be a decision until after Christmas unless they settle early.

We’re not lawyers, but it looks like the case is going to revolve around whether or not Arduino LLC actually controlled the “Arduino” name at the time it trademarked it, and whether the extensive production of boards labelled “Arduino” by Smart Projects invalidates that trademark. The relevant trademark law can be found here and if you know your stuff on this, please feel free to illuminate us in the comments or with a direct e-mail to us directly or through the tip line.

So to recap the story so far, two websites, two “Arduinos”, and two lawsuits.

A Tale of Two Internets of Things

Not surprisingly, both groups have differing versions of where to go from here, but both sides are betting on the Internet of Things. Arduino LLC has partnered with Intel on the Galileo and more recently is working with BeagleBoard.org on the forthcoming Arduino TRE. Arduino SRL is sticking with the WiFi router MIPS solution that powers the Yun and keeping it in-house.

yun_one

As previously mentioned, the Yun was at least co-designed with [Musto] and dog hunter. And now on arduino.org, there’s a placeholder product photo for the “Arduino Yun Mini” with the date April 30, 2015 attached. The Yun Mini looks exactly like the Linino One in a different color scheme, and it doesn’t take much of a hardware detective to put two and two together, given that [Musto] is now CEO of both dog hunter (which runs Linino.org) and Arduino SRL. The Yun Mini is, naturally, conspicuously lacking from the arduino.cc product lineup.

 

ArduinoTre_LandingPage.jpg

The next step up from the Yun on the arduino.cc site is the Arduino TRE, which is also a Linux-based solution coupled with an ATmega32u4. In this case, however, the Linux computer comes in the form of a 1-GHz Sitara AM335x processor, essentially a Beaglebone/Arduino mashup. And one can’t help but notice the tagline on the TRE page: “Arduino TRE, the first Arduino board manufactured in the U.S.” which is a dramatic shift away from the proudly “Made in Italy” silkscreens that adorn the Smart Projects / Arduino SRL boards.

Is this the reason for the schism? Massimo Banzi has said that he’s interested in working with many other producers to get newer and better Arduino products out there and would even like to be able to sell in China, land of the clones. (translate)  [Martino] and now [Musto] clearly have a vested interest in keeping production in Italy, while Arduino LLC’s interests are better served by going global. Perhaps it’s only natural that the two part ways.

The Code

Finally, the story takes a slightly cheeky turn in the most recent version of the Arduino IDE, released on March 10. As of version 1.6.1, there’s been a patch to the Arduino codebase that pops up a warning dialog when an “Arduino” with the USB Vendor ID (VID) 0x2A03 is flashed. The pop-up message reads “This board comes from an uncertified manufacturer. We won’t be able to provide any support if it doesn’t work as expected.”

unnamed

You may not be surprised that USB VID 0x2A03 belongs to “dog hunter AG”.  The Arduino IDE pops up the “uncertified manufacturer” warning any time that this VID is used, on any board type. Conspicuously missing in all of this are any of the VIDs in use by the various other counterfeit “Arduino” boards running around out there. Either there are too many of them to address directly, or this is a targeted, tactical strike against the Arduino SRL camp.

If you don’t have a board with VID 0x2A03, you can see the changes to the IDE on GitHub for the commit “Added warning for uncertified boards“.  Scroll on down to the changes to the file “hardware/arduino/avr/boards.txt” and you’ll see what’s going on. (And smile if you don’t have to code in Java for a living: nearly 600 lines of code added just to implement a simple pop-up dialog!)

Apparently, at least a couple of people with an UNO and a Mega256 have seen the warning and claim to have bought their devices through reputable retailers, including Mouser.

Now this isn’t an FTDI-style bricking; it’s just a pop-up dialog. What’s even nicer is that it comes with a “Don’t show me again” button so that you’re not constantly nagged. And it does recognize the boards so that they function normally, but it’s definitely a scare for users when they first stumble upon it.

The Future

So what does all of this mean for the future of Arduino as we know it? There’s certainly been a code fork and there are at least two divergent hardware design approaches to the IoT and strategic visions for the two firms. The trademark issues may not be resolved until 2016, though, so in the mean time there’s going to be significant market confusion. Not to mention the two similar websites.

You can certainly bet that both companies will be pushing themselves to get good product to market and trying to keep hold on the community. Maybe that will all be good for us in the end? Post your wild guesses and conspiracy theories in the comments.

We’ll keep you posted when we learn even more.  If you’ve got leads that you’d like us to chase down, hit us up on the tip line.

And thanks very much to [Concerned User] for the tipoff to the trademark filing and to [Another Anonymous Tipster] for the tip to the IDE version 1.6.1 changes.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, news, slider
Feb
25

Arduino v. Arduino

arduino, arduino hacks, Licensing, News, slider, trademark Commenti disabilitati su Arduino v. Arduino 

Arduino LLC is suing Arduino Srl (the Italian version of an LLC). Sounds confusing? It gets juicier. What follows is a summary of the situation as we learned it from this article at Heise.de (google translatrix)

Arduino LLC is the company founded by [Massimo Banzi], [David Cuartielles], [David Mellis], [Tom Igoe] and [Gianluca Martino] in 2009 and is the owner of the Arduino trademark and gave us the designs, software, and community support that’s gotten the Arduino where it is. The boards were manufactured by a spinoff company, Smart Projects Srl, founded by the same [Gianluca Martino]. So far, so good.

Things got ugly in November when [Martino] and new CEO [Federico Musto] renamed Smart Projects to Arduino Srl and registered arduino.org (which is arguably a better domain name than the old arduino.cc). Whether or not this is a trademark infringement is currently being heard in the Massachussetts District Court.

According to this Italian Wired article, the cause of the split is that [Banzi] and the other three wanted to internationalize the brand and license production to other firms freely, while [Martino] and [Musto] at the company formerly known as Smart Projects want to list on the stock market and keep all production strictly in the Italian factory.

Naturally, a lot of the original Arduino’s Open Source Hardware credentials and ethos are hanging in the balance, not to mention its supply chain and dealer relationships. However the trademark suit comes out, we’re guessing it’s only going to be the first in a series of struggles. Get ready for the Arduino wars.

We’re not sure if this schism is at all related to the not-quite-open-source hardware design of the Yun, but it’s surely the case that the company is / the companies are going through some growing pains right now.

Thanks [Philip Steffan] for the pointer to the Heise.de link. (And for writing it.)


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, news, slider


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