I just emailed Arduino LLC about this issue. I am hoping form some community response to this:
"I am working on a project based on Arduino design. Here is the background story that made me consider contacting Arduino LLC. There is a trademark issue related to Arduino USB vendor ID etc. that I would like to raise. I am considering using the ATMEGA32U4 processor that Arduino Leonardo and Micro are using. I also want to use the Arduino bootloader. The bootloader contains Arduino’s USB vendor ID and device ID. If I use this bootloader, then my device would identify itself as if it were an Arduino. This is an issue. I am willing to work with you before I put this product into any scale beyond prototyping and testing. I don’t have the skills to make changes to bootloader or recompile it (yet).
Here are my actual questions:
What does Arduino LLC do in case a third party is using aforementioned bootloader?
Does Arduino LLC kindly work with educational institutions in developing open-source projects and help them with bootloader trademark and technical issues?
Can someone purchase a section of device IDs from Arduino LLC for their open-source educational projects so they can use the same vendor id, different text to identify themselves? Purchasing one from USB-IF is $5K.
I know that forum member Brad has used the same MCU and purchased his own vendor ID. It’s expensive. If I used an FTDI chip, I could subcontract with them but Atmel doesn’t have this program. What advice do you have for me and others doing similar things?