What's this new Arduino website - arduino.org ?

There appears to be a new Arduino website http://arduino.org/ - what's all that about?

My first impression (when the page opens) is that it is even more useless than arduino.cc

If there is some sort of split or power struggle in the Arduino camp I wonder which faction will be best for this Forum?

I have no idea who may be on which side of the struggle and I don't care. I have not come across anyone who has done enough for this forum to merit support.

...R

I guess they want to change their domain. Although that site looks like it'll be the commercial side of things, while this .cc domain will host the support stuff.

I’m a little astonished…

Well, Arduino Uno (clones I presume) are available on eBay for around $US 5.

They seem to be selling them at the Arduino store for €20.00 (around $US 22) and for $US 24.95 from Adafruit.

According to Wikipedia Arduino had sold 700,000 “official boards” by 2013, compared to 300,000 in 2011. So, around 150,000 boards a year.

Let’s assume that the raw board can be made for $1.50 since the eBay sellers would have to make some profit. Maybe, $2.50.

Let’s further assume that the wholesale price is 50% of the retail, which means they sell them to Adafruit etc. for around $12. So that’s around $10 profit per board. Multiply by 150,000 boards, and you get $1.5 million profit per year.

That’s pure guesswork on my part, but it is probably roughly in the ballpark. Now $1.5 million is serious money, and conceivably as the clone-makers muscle their way in, there might be differences of opinion about how to claw some of the profit back.

pYro_65: I guess they want to change their domain. Although that site looks like it'll be the commercial side of things, while this .cc domain will host the support stuff.

They have no interest in the forum side of things as they see it as a sink-hole for money/labour/skill maintaining it so they are setting up another website to run away and leave us. :(

I think you need to be clear in your mind who “they” are.

Besides which, we, the contributors to the forum, are unpaid.

[quote author=Nick Gammon date=1424494025 link=msg=2104097]That's pure guesswork on my part, but it is probably roughly in the ballpark. Now $1.5 million is serious money, and conceivably as the clone-makers muscle their way in, there might be differences of opinion about how to claw some of the profit back.[/quote] Seems a reasonable estimate.

When you place that number alongside the very poor support that this Forum has been getting it is a bit difficult to justify recommending newcomers to buy "real" Arduinos to support the system.

All of my 4 Arduinos are official ones - am I the fool?

...R

[quote author=Nick Gammon link=msg=2104231 date=1424505943] I think you need to be clear in your mind who "they" are. [/quote] 'They' are the Arduino team on the payroll.

[quote author=Nick Gammon link=msg=2104232 date=1424505967] Besides which, we, the contributors to the forum, are unpaid. [/quote] Yes I realize that and hope I also contribute in some small way. What about the Admins though, are there services also free?

Robin2: Seems a reasonable estimate.

When you place that number alongside the very poor support that this Forum has been getting it is a bit difficult to justify recommending newcomers to buy "real" Arduinos to support the system.

All of my 4 Arduinos are official ones - am I the fool?

...R

Just an ardent supporter. The value of the voluntary free time you put in dwarfs the cost of the boards, I'm sure.

You could make your own and that is encouraged by Arduino. What we say here is please buy at least one.

Robin2: There appears to be a new Arduino website http://arduino.org/ - what's all that about?

Arduino has five founders, which are Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, David Mellis, Tom Igoe und Gianluca Martino.

Arduino consists of two different companies: Arduino LLC ==> company in the USA, which posesses the trademark "Arduino" Arduino S.R.L. ==> company in Italy, which produces the "original" Arduino boards ("made in Italy")

"Arduino S.R.L." was formerly known as the company "Smart Projects S.R.L." This company is owned completely by Gianluca Martino. But unfortunately this one of the founders is now quarrelling with the other four founders about the future of "Arduino".

I think the central point in the quarrel is, where the Arduino boards shall be manufactured in the future: The four founders of Arduino LLC in the USA want the "original Arduino" boards to be produced all over the world where the Arduino users are sitting. So perhaps they want cheap boards to be manufactured also in countries like India, Brazil or China. Not only als "clone" and "fake" boards, but as official "original Arduino" boards.

And the owner of Arduino S.R.L. is strictly against that, and he wants his own company in Italy to be the only manufacturer of "original Arduino" boards in the world.

The new website arduino.org belongs to Arduino S.R.L.

A legal battle is currently fought between Arduino S.R.L. and Arduino LLC at the Massachusetts District Court. But that's another thing and is not about manufacturing the "original Arduino" boards, but in that case the fight is about the trademark "Arduino". The owners of Arduino LLC are not very amused about - the company renaming of ""Smart Projects S.R.L." to ""Arduino S.R.L." in Italy - and about the new website Arduino.org used by that company

I don't know who may profit from the current lawsuit and those will follow. But surely the lawyers will make a lot of profit from both companies.

jurs: Arduino has five founders, which are Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, David Mellis, Tom Igoe und Gianluca Martino.

Arduino consists of two different companies: Arduino LLC ==> company in the USA, which posesses the trademark "Arduino" Arduino S.R.L. ==> company in Italy, which produces the "original" Arduino boards ("made in Italy")

"Arduino S.R.L." was formerly known as the company "Smart Projects S.R.L." This company is owned completely by Gianluca Martino. But unfortunately this one of the founders is now quarrelling with the other four founders about the future of "Arduino".

I think the central point in the quarrel is, where the Arduino boards shall be manufactured in the future: The four founders of Arduino LLC in the USA want the "original Arduino" boards to be produced all over the world where the Arduino users are sitting. So perhaps they want cheap boards to be manufactured also in countries like India, Brazil or China. Not only als "clone" and "fake" boards, but as official "original Arduino" boards.

And the owner of Arduino S.R.L. is strictly against that, and he wants his own company in Italy to be the only manufacturer of "original Arduino" boards in the world.

The new website arduino.org belongs to Arduino S.R.L.

A legal battle is currently fought between Arduino S.R.L. and Arduino LLC at the Massachusetts District Court. But that's another thing and is not about manufacturing the "original Arduino" boards, but in that case the fight is about the trademark "Arduino". The owners of Arduino LLC are not very amused about - the company renaming of ""Smart Projects S.R.L." to ""Arduino S.R.L." in Italy - and about the new website Arduino.org used by that company

I don't know who may profit from the current lawsuit and those will follow. But surely the lawyers will make a lot of profit from both companies.

I am with Robin2, and as inspector Gerard put it "I don't care".

So "they" - either faction- want to make $ selling hardware and have free contributions on forums like this one to fix the crappy software being developed for free also, right?

Pretty smart business model as long as majority of users want to blink LED.

And as one of the administrator here put it when this site went "new format" - what do you want for free?

@jurs, Thanks for that insight.

I find myself in a strange situation vis-a-vis manufacture in Italy and elsewhere.

I rather liked the idea that the boards were made in Italy - or at least within the EU.

I don't like the idea of shifting production (of anything) to a cheap country like China or India so that we in the West can have the goods cheaper. At the same time I have no objection to China and India manufacturing things and exporting them.

In my mind the answer could be that the official Arduino boards can be manufactured anywhere but there should be a standard international export price so that (say) boards are exported from Italy at the same price (expressed in Euros) as boards are exported from India or China. That means the "profit" of cheaper labour etc stays in the country it belongs to and jobs in Italy (or USA or wherever) are not exported to countries with cheap labour and poorer working conditions.

...R

It's Open Source. The crime is when non-official is marked and sold as official.

Where official boards are made should matter to people who want to support Arduino and feed money back into the organization including the people who make the boards. Their pay is part of the price. To make boards at prices that compete with China out of parts that cost far more would skin those workers and shut the official makers down.

We can take some of the wind out of this by not buying knockoffs with Arduino in the name.

... the USPTO attempts to ensure that no other party receives a federal registration for an identical or similar mark for or as applied to related goods/services...

Or not...

jurs: ...in that case the fight is about the trademark "Arduino". The owners of Arduino LLC are not very amused about - the company renaming of ""Smart Projects S.R.L." to ""Arduino S.R.L." in Italy - and about the new website Arduino.org used by that company

Given the fact that the USPTO granted a nearly identical trademark to SRL years after LLC's trademark...

http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4808:w6owle.2.3

...they should be included in the lawsuit. "Gross incompetence" is the phrase that comes to mind.

Was the "Arduino" wordmark really "granted" (registered) to SRL? To me it looks like SRL has made a filing (back in sept of 2014) but it hasn't yet gone through the public comment phase yet which happens before the mark is actually registered.

And then there is the Arduino Infinity logo (trademark) which is owned by Arduino LLC.

--- bill

No. I misunderstood the TESS listing. My apologies to the fine folks at the USPTO.

[quote author=Coding Badly date=1425518619 link=msg=2124511] No. I misunderstood the TESS listing. My apologies to the fine folks at the USPTO.

[/quote]

I think things get very messy with this since it looks like the Arduino guys did so many things sloppily and improperly with respect to the business. The biggest being that it sounds like they didn't have formal written agreements in place. It appears that they never really formed a company and assigned all the IP to the company before going off and doing things.

To me it looks the marks were being used on the boards and and being sold around the world before there were real word/trade marks in place or even filed.

Even just determining who was using them at the time could be messy. Was it the individuals, was it Arduino LLC, or was it the contract board house Smart SRL? At this point it seems everyone is trying to attach claims.

Then the issue of use vs the defense of the marks along with the potential different rules of different countries like the US vs Italy.

It looks like a real mess to me.

In the larger picture, I think things could get very difficult for Arduino LCC moving forward since their current business model will be very difficult to maintain. OpenSource is great for users but it is tricky for companies to use it to make money. The ones who succeed typically use the opensource as part of something larger that is not open. This is what players like Apple, Microsoft, Tivo, GoPro and many others do. They use openSource as free envelopment and support resources for their closed source products.

Arduino on the other hand currently gives away everything so they have no real competitive advantage and have lowered the barrier to entry for their competitors to be very very low. So unless they change their way of doing things I can't see how they can compete in the long run. Arduino LLC has development and support costs that a competitor does not necessarily have since their competitor can openly and legally clone the boards and simply use the s/w tools that Arduino LCC is creating and maintaining. I'm not sure how Arduino LLC can continue to compete with that type of business model.

There were talks of either one or both trying to go raise funding but having been on both sides of the funding table (startup company and private VC) I think they need to really get their acts together and their business models worked out before trying to look for money and this internal fight amongst themselves isn't doing them any favors.

--- bill

Thanks for that explanation Bill.

I don't see any particular need for a "business model" beyond the simple profit (or loss) associated with manufacturing and selling boards.

To the best of my knowledge the linux developers don't have a "business" and that is a far more significant activity than Arduino.

What I find very hard to understand is why the "Arduino people" almost entirely ignore this Forum even though it must represent a very large proportion of the "value" of the product.

...R