Go Down

Topic: Suspected Intellectual Property Violations - Arduino hates Amazon sellers (Read 767 times) previous topic - next topic

volkerforster

First we had to deal with Adafruit, having all Amazon listings shut down with the word "Neopixel" in them, regardless the correct statement "compatible with Adafruit Neopixel library for Arduino". This was ridiculous and only set up to hurt sellers of compatible products. We had to remove the word Neopixel from every listing, regardless of the correct use in regards to the "fair use of trademarks".

And now, since some weeks, Arduino does the same with dozens of our listings. Calling an 8x8 matrix LED display "Arduino compatible" is already an intellectual property violation?!

Sorry Massimo, but this is not fair, and an act of violence against all honest sellers of compatible products.

Seems the term "fair use of a trademark" is not very well know by intellectual property right holders, especially not by those touting they would support an open hardware community.
Electronics design, custom development and manufacturing since 1992. A/V and Automation Installations for Radio and TV Production, Broadcasting and Conferencing Technology since 2006. Online shop Universal-Solder and brand CANADUINO since 2016.

ballscrewbob

Addressable LED was always the "correct" term anyhow.

Amazon is in a big phase right now as they were seemingly slapped for selling things to the USA that were not allowed or came under certain restrictions. Lasers IIRC were one specific target.

As for "Arduino compatible" I would agree with you that is should be acceptable to use that term.
Inclusion of similar logos etc would be a different matter and I would support Arduino in that case.
Most of us tend to know what we are wanting to buy so dont on many occasions even look for the word Arduino.
The Chinese however will use your term for many things that are not even meant for arduino's just as an added selling feature to dupe unsuspecting noobs.

Even seen very similar artwork to the real thing on Ebay, Amazon etc.
So given that the chinese are now using that approach I would honestly expect Arduino to clamp down overall to send out a very clear warning. It does sound like a bit of a blanket move but given where things are going not unexpected.

Bob.
It may not be the answer you were looking for but its the one I am giving based on either experience, educated guess, google or the fact that you gave nothing to go with in the first place so I used my wonky crystal ball.

gbafamily

I see no evidence of a crackdown in Amazon US. Searching for "arduino" shows the usual clone boards claiming "Arduino compatible" or "works with Arduino IDE". Same for neopixels. May this is country or seller specific?

volkerforster

I see no evidence of a crackdown in Amazon US. Searching for "arduino" shows the usual clone boards claiming "Arduino compatible" or "works with Arduino IDE". Same for neopixels. May this is country or seller specific?

Sure you will not see a difference between 200k search results or 150k. Still looks the same.

But finally, after several weeks of fighting these issues, Amazon told me that (okay my fault, English is a foreign language to me) the accepted term would be "compatible with Arduino", and not "compatible to Arduino". Wherever I changed it on Amazon US or UK, it was fine after that.

But now Arduino (I always start laughing tears when I remember that this 100% profit-only business once started out as open source...) I face the same issues with Google Ads. But this is a lot more tricky than Amazon. Because any headline can only be 30 characters wide, and "compatible with Arduino" already takes up 23. With at least 1 more necessary space, there are only 6 characters left for my ad message. Yes, there are words like Module or Sensor, just barely fitting in the remaining space. But honestly, Arduino turns into a monster what kills their (legal) competitors advertising strategies.

What happens now is that we need to focus on flyers and inserts to our shipments, and more on Facebook, which still is tolerating "for Arduino" and "Arduino compatible", which takes up a lot less of the always extremely limited space.

Thank you Massimo and friends, for turning out to be so greedy, to thwart the entire idea of open source, by trying to shut down other companies (actually helping you with the popularity of your platform) they not even sell counterfeits, not call compatible products original, not print Arduino Logos and "Made in Italy" on Chinese hardware.
Electronics design, custom development and manufacturing since 1992. A/V and Automation Installations for Radio and TV Production, Broadcasting and Conferencing Technology since 2006. Online shop Universal-Solder and brand CANADUINO since 2016.

volkerforster

Addressable LED was always the "correct" term anyhow.
...
This is correct, but it should be okay when we sell addressable RGB strips, and mention "compatible with Adafruit's Neopixel library for Arduino". But there we blunder twice, by even mentioning the word "Neopixel", and by saying "for Arduino".

I understand that rights owner want to protect their brands und limit the use of their trademarks. But that the 2 companies which contributed the most to open source / open hardware, now show their real face as hardcore capitalists, is very sad.

We developed many things for the Arduino platform, we produce our own modules, and of course sell some stuff from China as well. But I can tell that Arduino's new strategy hurts us a lot. And we consider to shut down anything related to Arduino, and focus on other hardware. Then awesome products like our just released PLC kit (https://bit.ly/35Mkvrf) and our very popular Bread Board Buddy V2 (https://bit.ly/2BrlZca) will die.
Electronics design, custom development and manufacturing since 1992. A/V and Automation Installations for Radio and TV Production, Broadcasting and Conferencing Technology since 2006. Online shop Universal-Solder and brand CANADUINO since 2016.

ballscrewbob

And yet still almost all the designs are still available in the documentation to be able to make your very own versions of most of the hardware. Some exceptions will apply to hardware outside Arduino's control.

Trade names and marks have for the very most part always carried an implicit copyright.
McDonalds has shut down many super small business who used the name even it it was the business owners own name. Not only that, they did it with expensive court actions. They are not the only one to have taken very drastic steps to stomp out smaller business who on some occasions did not even sell the same types of goods. Given that Arduino is allowing almost anyone to still include the term "ARDUINO" in descriptions would to me indicate a willingness to participate in the open source scheme of things without too much stomping down on the smaller guys too much.

Given what Arduino went through and no doubt the cost involved in that you cannot blame them for trying to keep a tighter rein on some aspects to avoid unscrupulous people taking advantage.
And if you followed even slightly the change back to"Arduino" you would have noticed they seemingly had to pick up some partners along the way. I am sure those partners have some say in this aspect too.

You openly say it was a mistake on your part in the terminology you used.
Let that be a warning to others to be just a little bit more concerned in the way they ma have taken liberties with the Arduino trade name in the past and lesson learned to move on.

That is my take anyhow and I am looking at it from both a business and an open source aspect.
There will be, and are occasions when open source HAS to make some money and HAS to protect a revenue stream. This is no different.

Bob.

PS. No I do NOT work for them so what I say are my own words and views and I hope they are taken in context with the bigger picture. After all we all want Arduino to have a bright future.

It may not be the answer you were looking for but its the one I am giving based on either experience, educated guess, google or the fact that you gave nothing to go with in the first place so I used my wonky crystal ball.

Go Up