Is this a clone or a counterfeit?

I have searched to try and determine on my own weather or not the board I have purchased is a clone, a compatible or a counterfeit. I even asked at the Adafruit customer support forum, as I post there quite frequently and that's when I was told that I was doing something horrible. It was Thursday morning on the east coast and I could already tell AI support Bill was having a bad day, but I pasted a link to this cool micro-controller I had just bought and was excited to put into my newest robot project.

I was a bit surprised (Not extremely surprised) when I found my link had been removed and I was being told to "Never again" post links to counterfeit Arduinos. So, naturally I did some research and determined on my own thanks to info I found here that it wasn't a counterfeit, it was more of a clone or as specifically stated on the vendor site, it was an "Arduino compatible" board. With this, I came back to the thread and stated that it was no more of a counterfeit than some of the boards Adafruit was manufacturing and selling. I didn't do this to start a fight, I did it simply as an attempt to correct some wording on his part.

Unfortunately, as I already mentioned, Bill was feeling grumpy and it became yet another thread where he tells me to go shop somewhere else. I always wonder what his motivation is for sending repeat customers away but I suppose that he's become complacent.

At any rate, I do feel bad now that I realize what I purchased did not come from this company and for that I want to apologize. I very much enjoy my Uno, my Decimilia and my Esplora and wanted to take what I had already learned and put it into a smaller package.

The reason for this post is so I can show everybody what I have and get some actual input rather than Adafruit Support Bill's righteous anger. Is this a clone or would you consider it a shameless ripoff/counterfeit/pirated piece of garbage? What do I actually have here?

I can post a link to the vendor site where I picked this board up if that is permissible. There are more pictures there that show the top and bottom of the board. There is no company logo or web address or anything else on the board top or bottom. The only lettering is what you see in my picture.

That board is a clone, not a counterfeit. A counterfeit is a board badged as a official Arduino but not sold by Arduino.cc or affiliates. That board has no markings and so cannot be a counterfeit.

So with you saying that, am I in conflict of anything talking about it here at Arduino.cc? My thread regarding the same board at Adafruit has been locked and they have told me they won't support me because I bought it. I didn't realize I was doing something wrong when I purchased the board and so I defended my position.

You did nothing wrong by buying that board. Clones are legal.

You are fine here. Looks like another 328 or 32U4 board.

You did nothing wrong by buying that board. Clones are legal.

That's exactly what I told the guy. Not to mention they are selling their own clone boards too. Oh but they have the blessing of Massimo Banzi so their board is legit. It's really frustrating when I run into this sort of thing. It doesn't matter how much money you spend on their hardware, it doesn't matter how much free help you provide to their other customers, if you buy something that's not sold by them or their partner companies, they treat you like you've done something wrong.

I have to say once and for all Adafruit industries has lost a customer. Not that it will make any difference to them. At all. It's not because they charge too much (They do) and it's not that they don't provide a lot of support or learning material (They do) It's because their support staff act the way they do. This one guy specifically. He will be a great help at times and the rest of the time I get "Go buy stuff somewhere else". In short, he's a jerk.

At any rate, Thank you guys very much for your input. I'm glad to finally find a forum where I feel like I can get some useful input and opinions. The community is also definitely a lot larger here and best of all, we're all doing similar things so if somebody doesn't have my answer right away, I'm sure one will come soon enough.

The Adafruit forums do specifically say "These forums are for Adafruit customers who need assistance with their purchases from Adafruit Industries. Our staff can only assist Adafruit customers, thank you!" If you didn't buy your clone from them, it was pretty uncool to derail a thread with "well, I'm going to abandon Adafruit and buy a cheaper board somewhere else."

It wasn't my intention to derail the thread by saying I was buying a cheaper board elsewhere, and they provide plenty of assistance for things that they don't even sell. What caused the locking of horns was that I was accused of purchasing a counterfeit board when I had in-fact bought a clone, which has already been cleared up. When I made attempts to correct Bill, he lost his cool and responded with his righteous anger, which, at this point I was already used to him doing. I don't correct people that I don't respect, but I guess that's not something normal people do as I have found that it generally isn't accepted.

I've gotten plenty of what I would call general engineering advise from their support staff on things sometimes completely unrelated to any of their products. It hasn't mattered at all. Not until I argued that this Clone nano board was in the same category as the Adafruit Metro. Because it is. It's somebody else's idea that they decided to let everybody use. If the issue is not wanting to help anybody that doesn't buy things from your company, that's easy to get around. I still feel that this came down to somebody not wanting to accept that they were incorrect.

Did I cross a line asking for help on a product that wasn't sold or endorsed by their company? Maybe, if I was asking for help with it. Did I cross a line by posting a link to the website where I bought it? Sure, the same line that's been crossed by their staff every time I've been told "We don't have what you're looking for but these guys who we are not partnered with do.". Thus giving me implied consent.

It's still no reason to be outright rude. One thing we are constantly told when we work around the public is "Consider your audience" when your audience is anybody from the internet who might be coming to your website looking to buy your products, I would think showing them good customer service is the best plan. I'm not saying "The customer is always right" because there are always times when they aren't. But it is more important to be patient with your customer, not to expect your customer to be patient with you. That's a customer lost.

If the policy says we won't help with non-product support, it should be enforced across the board. Not simply applied when convenient.