custom leonardo board

I have seen a lot of different answers to questions similar to what I am going to ask. So just for clarification I would like to ask the following:

If I would make an open source project board based on the Leonardo (Atmega32U4) with slightly different pin-mapping and thereby an altered bootloader, would it require an USB VID? Or is the Arduino VID free to use for 3rd party designs that are open source?
I can't find a clear answer to this question...

Is there any way that I could integrate my board (with a different name) using the existing Arduino PID/VID or get a PID without running into some legal issues? I could just change the software identifier from "Leonardo" to "MyBoard" not changing the PID, but is that legal?

If it would require purchasing a VID the project would be dead from the start.

Clarification on how to deal with this would be greatly appreciated!

Regards Nic

I have already read this:
This: Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0
And this: Arduino IDE 1.5 3rd party Hardware specification · arduino/Arduino Wiki · GitHub

Leading me to believe that I can just make an Arduino compatible board under the creative common license.

But many other forum posts lead me to believe that I have to get a PID which might require me to buy a VID...

So I am rather confused about this matter...

Just to post one of the threads saying it is not allowed to make an Arduino compatible device without buying your own VID: Arduino UNO FAQ | Arduino Tips, Tricks, and Techniques | Adafruit Learning System

There are a couple of forum posts out there that adresses this issue, but none of them gives a final answer.

Sent the Arduino team an e-mail regarding this issue. But have not heard from them yet. I can't believe that there isn't a clear answer to this question.

When I looked, the answer seems clear to me. The VID is not free to use, Arduino (cc or srl?) is the only legal entity that has a Licence to use there VID. Arduino can not transfer anything but the full VID block to anyone else. They are supposed to put a unique PID in each product, but I have not checked if that is happening. I do know each FTDI has a unique PID. Those are the USB rules that I found, but frankly the outfit that is promoting USB stuff ( is doing a horrible job at providing clear and available information.

Edit: (from PID are assigned by each vendor as they see fit. So they can be reused.

If Arduino does not mind the chip identifying itself as an Leonardo for the drivers then there would not be any problems. If burning a custom bootloader and providing the required files for 3rd. party hardware like described here: Arduino IDE 1.5 3rd party Hardware specification · arduino/Arduino Wiki · GitHub , the board will identify itself as a custom board in the Arduino IDE.

So the issue is if Arduino would allow this?

As you correctly stated, FTDI can provide you with a PID, so that would do the trick. But using an Atmega32U4 would not make much sense considering the price versus a 328P.

Arduino says that one are free to use and modify their material under the CC license, but that does not include the Leonardo because of the PID?