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Topic: "Arduino" Trademark infringement? (Read 731 times) previous topic - next topic


I've got a question about trademark infringement with regards to the brand "Arduino".  I was browsing Kickstarter and came across a campaign that I don't feel quite right about (Arduino PICO: The world's smallest Arduino board!). Normally you see campaign descriptions that mention "Arduino Compatible" but this campaign specifically says "Arduino PICO" and "world's smallest Arduino board".  Is this something that is grounds for infringement or are they okay with using the name "Arduino"? To me it seem they are trying to pass their board off as a genuine Arduino product.

I asked the creator if they had licenced the the use of the name and they avoided answering the question. I'm totally on board with open source hardware but there is something about using someones name and trying to mislead people I don't feel right about.

I'm sure this has been dealt with before. Could anyone give insight as to what should be done if anything?


It's explained here:
"Arduino" is a trademark of Arduino LLC and should not be used for unofficial variants. If you're interested in having your design included in the official Arduino product line, please see the So you want to make an Arduino document and contact the Arduino team. While unofficial products should not have "Arduino" in their name, it's okay to describe your product in relation to the Arduino project and platform. Here are a few guidelines that explain which uses we consider reasonable.

Not okay:
  • Arduino Xxxxxx
  • Xxxxxx Arduino
  • Arduino Compatible Xxxxxx - use "Xxxxxx (Arduino-Compatible)" instead.

  • Xxxxxx for Arduino - products that work with official Arduino boards (e.g. shields or kits).
  • Xxxxxx (Arduino-Compatible) - variations and clones which are software and hardware compatible.

I think it's clear that calling the product "Arduino PICO" violates these terms. The thing is that these guys will only need to write a very minimal amount of code, like two files which can be basically copied and pasted from Arduino AVR Boards. After that they benefit from all the work Arduino has done on the Arduino IDE and I don't recognize their names as people who have ever been involved with the community. When companies market their products this way people end up coming to Arduino for customer support so that's another drain on their resources. Arduino makes most of their software open source. They make most of their hardware open source. They have made it extremely easy to add support to the IDE for 3rd party hardware even though this directly impacts their sales. They ask that people use the name Arduino and the Arduino logo according to their guidelines. So I think it is important to respect that.

This could be reported to: trademark@arduino.cc. Probably Kickstarter has a way to also report it.

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