Author Topic: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info  (Read 18248 times)

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Offline Stonent

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smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« on: May 15, 2013, 02:01:08 am »
I linked to the hackaday article where they explain better. Basically the project claimed they manufactured real Arduinos but now are making their own project. By "manufacturing" they meant hired two former employees, but you won't see that on their kickstarter page.

http://hackaday.com/2012/11/27/kickstarter-incurs-the-wrath-of-arduino-creator/
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Offline Rasz

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2013, 02:12:44 am »
So in essence they were telling the truth. What exactly is your problem?
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Offline Stonent

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2013, 09:43:14 am »
Massimo Banzi contacted them and they sounded like they were going to update the deceptive stuff but they never did.

But former employees can be anything. You could hire the head janitor who sometimes moved the boxes of Arduinos away from the trash can and you could say he was involved in the production of the product.
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Offline Rasz

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2013, 10:36:44 am »
sooooo in essence they were telling the truth. What exactly is your problem?
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Offline westfw

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 11:06:12 am »
No, "in essence" they were lying.  By some stretching of technical definitions, they can almost claim to not quite be lying.  But that's pretty far from being truthful.

(I'm also a bit surprised that Smart Projects, the Italian company that DOES manufacture Arduinos, isn't more pissed off.  The project name seems clearly designed to capitalize on the reputations of both SP and Arduino, and it's doesn't look like they have much right to do so.)

That said, it's a pretty mild criticism, IMO, for a project that does a significant re-spin of the Arduino idea.
Of more concern is that they're running 7 months late in delivering the goods.
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2013, 11:57:16 am »
They didnt say they designed Arduino, they didnt say they owned company making them, they said they had people working for them that previously made arduinos. I really dont see anything misleading there. Are you one of those people that thinks its stealing because they are using precious GPLed arduino code?

From the updates it seems they started/are starting to ship.
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2013, 12:27:48 pm »
It looks like this all happened more than 6 months ago.

What's happened now to make this into an issue?

I don't know much about Italian law, other than that Ferrari SpA is very dogged about enforcing the Ferrari Trademark throughout Europe, so I presume the protections for trademarks are similar in EU law to US law... in which case the trademark holder could (and IMO should) have told them to cease and desist since it was clearly a confusing issue - and intended to confuse.

But going back to the first sentence.. this all happened months ago.  What's the beef today?
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Offline westfw

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2013, 03:59:07 pm »
Quote
What's happened now to make this into an issue?
NOW, there is an EEVBLOG forum to complain about "dodgy" Crowd Funded Projects!

This is an interesting example in that it is yet another way to be "dodgy."
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2013, 05:17:34 am »
As a backer of this project with $300 in it, I would be happy to answer any specific questions you might have about this one. I have had multiple discussions with the project creator, and am quite confident that there is no funny-business going on.

So if you have any questions about the technical aspects, the production issues that have arisen, the various drama that has unfolded in the process, or even the distribution and delivery of the final product, then please voice them and I will be happy to share what information I have. Nothing is secret, even though it's all buried under the constant bitching and bickering of project backers on the kickstarter forum.


I'll start though by shutting down the misinformation that has already been repeated in this thread (and in the source linked).

Dimitri did not claim to be an Arduino manufacturer. He claimed that he has on staff multiple assembly-line workers who previously worked for an Arduino manufacturer (and now 6 months later they might no longer be - I'm not sure). He also claimed that his company subcontracted partial supply/manufacturing in the Arduino production supply chain. When accusations of fabrication of those claims surfaced, he provided quite convincing documentation that proved that he wasn't lying. He provided photographs of invoices and a link to a news video that included a tour of an "Arduino factory" in which those two employees were seen. As a native Italian that also speaks English as a second language (and I think maybe Cantonese?), there is a bit of a language barrier when his statements aren't reviewed and edited by a native English speaker, and this has frequently been a source of misunderstanding. But poor grammar aside, there was nothing intentionally incorrect or misleading stated in the project description.

There was a second incident which occurred as a result of all the bullshit misinformation that was regurgitated on the hackaday discussion. Massimo Banzi (primary person behind Arduino) was tipped off that someone was attempting to produce and sell knock-off Arduino products. This actually does happen quite a bit - mostly cheap Chinese rip-offs who flagrantly print the official Arduino logo and everything on the parts. So Mr. Banzi assumed the worst without first checking on any facts whatsoever (he didn't even look at the project description from Kickstarter), and he got lawyers involved. Had he spent 15 minutes reading the information there, or just a quick email to Dimitri would have cleared up the misconceptions - but in a knee-jerk reaction he posted a bunch of spiteful rhetoric on the Arduino blog instead. The lawyers attempted to intimidate Dimitri into rebranding his entire product line... even though he wasn't in any way violating the published trademark terms of the Arduino brand name. And of course the obvious fact that this isn't an Arduino clone being sold in the first place - it is an open-standard hardware interconnect that targets Arduino as one of the interconnected platforms (one of many platforms). The lawyers quickly dropped their pressure because they simply don't have a leg to stand on, but Mr. Banzi never did recant his public accusations nor apologize for them.
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2013, 05:21:33 am »
Also, here is the actual Kickstarter project link for anyone who wishes to make their own judgements: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fairduino/smartduino-open-system-by-former-arduinos-manufact
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2013, 12:49:52 pm »
There is also an interview with Dmitri on Dangerous Prototypes YT channel. Ian visited him in China/Hongkong/Taiwan/Srilanka/whatever_cant_remember.
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Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2013, 06:04:17 pm »
I see quite a few contentious points in the blurb.

I agree with the OPs thread heading
Quote
smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info

BTW who is "we" it states
Quote
Project by Dimitri Albino Romano, Italy

Why cant he just say the truth, ie Arduino capatibility, and explain whatever manufacturing link he had with the original Arduino.
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2013, 02:51:26 am »
Yes the wording wasn't the best. To me it comes off as just sub-optimal English that is not uncommon with mainland Europeans or Asians. He tried to explain it more thoroughly later in the project description, but unfortunately the project title and headline make a strong (and confusing) first impression. I personally think this mistake (along with the silly capitalization gimmick) worked against the success of the project.

The intent is plainly stated here:

Quote
We started our company over 15 years ago in the north of Italy, in a very small town. Our company used to be a contractor for the manufacturing of Arduino™ and, a couple of years ago, some important staff left the factory that manufactured the Arduino™ to join us. With this transition we gain a lot of experience in this field.

What makes us different, from the people that usually propose this kind of projects on Kickstarter, is the fact that we are involved and specialized in making products, not just experimenting or prototyping. This allowed us to think and design something that goes a few steps beyond.

We run our business in Italy but we also have our own office and staff in Shenzhen, China since 2006, and a branch in Orlando, Florida. We are still a small company, only ten people running a typical family business, but with a very deep knowledge and huge experience.
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2013, 09:11:44 am »
Yes I think they would have been better off being clearer about that.
Anyway they have funding, but it sounds like they didn't need it anyway.
Is the kickstarter project more just for sales? I'm not saying this is bad.

 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2013, 04:34:55 am »
Exposure/marketing and feedback on what enthusiasts like/dislike about the product. He also used the momentum of the kickstarter campaign to add support for a few other platforms... like Electric Imp and Tinyduino, and to test the waters for some other designs (like the "mix-up" signal shifter/routing shield).

And yes, as a way to increase sales (via the Kickstarter exposure, which can be a great marketing benefit).
 

Offline fuffkin

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2013, 05:33:04 pm »
I too, have invested in this Kickstarter campaign and I'm sure that it's genuine.

One thing that does unnerve me a little, is the rambling project updates that Dimitri sends out. The last one he sent out was obviously responding to a fresh set of criticism and he addressed each point one by one. That may be all well and good, but I for one, hadn't been privvy to any of this flaming and I don't really care. I know that production projects - particularly successful ones - can go overtime, I'm cool with that. I don't want a blow-by-blow account of all his arguments. All it does is raise my awareness of the controversy and it can't help but make you feel a little uneasy.

Just stick to project updates, rise above the criticism and concentrate on delivering.
 

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2013, 09:58:48 pm »
"smARtDUINO: Open System by former ARDUINO's manufacturer"  lol!   that's like  "smArt-µCurrent: Current meter by former Dave Jones µCurrent manufacturer"
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2013, 10:47:14 pm »
"smARtDUINO: Open System by former ARDUINO's manufacturer"  lol!   that's like  "smArt-µCurrent: Current meter by former Dave Jones µCurrent manufacturer"

And? I still dont see whats so wrong about that?
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Offline Corporate666

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2013, 12:47:06 am »
"smARtDUINO: Open System by former ARDUINO's manufacturer"  lol!   that's like  "smArt-µCurrent: Current meter by former Dave Jones µCurrent manufacturer"

And? I still dont see whats so wrong about that?

It implies a closer connection than actually exists, but more problematically, it would infringe on a trademarked name - µCurrent.  There is a whole area of law centered around intellectual property and trademarks, etc.  But it's well established that "leeching" off someone else's success by using their trademark is actionable.  It causes legitimate problems for the trademark holder... which is why if you released a product called Mini-Ferrari: from the manufacturer of Ferraris" that was a small kids car and you used to make light bulbs that Ferrari bought from you - you will absolutely get sued, and IMO would absolutely lose - and rightfully so.
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Offline MacAttak

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2013, 02:48:48 am »
You are making undue assumptions about the usage restrictions of the "Arduino" name. Please read the section here under "What should I call my boards" first: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/FAQ

And then after doing that, consider the product names that Arduino team has chosen not to strong-arm.
  • Netduino
  • TinyDuino
  • DFRDuino
  • RFDuino
  • Various other (smaller) one-off boards like "R-Duino" and "G-Duino".

By those facts alone, there is absolutely NO legal ground for Arduino to pursue this product or manufacturer (it didn't stop them from trying). But let's continue...

Next, review what this project really is. And by that I mean don't skip past the full detail. Actually read through it. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fairduino/smartduino-open-system-by-former-arduinos-manufact

Lastly, understand that the name "smartduino" is not even the final product name (and there isn't just a single product - this is a full range of related products). Review the online store that lists the products with the actual final names: http://smartmaker.com/en/

The company name is "Smart Maker", which was not final when the Kickstarter campaign was underway - "SmartDuino" was a temporary working name only. All of the products are labeled under "SmartMade Open System", and they are all prefixed with "Smart" as in "SmartBus", "SmartHost", "SmartMod", and "SmartCore" (which is the closest analogue to an Arduino in this product line). The word "Arduino" only appears in the names of two boards "SmartHost for Arduino" and "SmartHost for Arduino Mega", which simply allow you to take any SmartCore and wrap it up in an Arduino/ArduinoMega compatible form-factor. This naming is fully in compliance with even the most conservative interpretation of the Arduino trademark usage restrictions. It is explicitly allowed.

You will notice that the Smart Maker even sells officially branded Arduino products as well - there is no attempt to make any of their own products look like official Arduinos or otherwise trick customers into thinking that they are in any way affiliated with the Arduino products.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2013, 03:25:35 am »
You are making undue assumptions about the usage restrictions of the "Arduino" name. Please read the section here under "What should I call my boards" first: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/FAQ

And then after doing that, consider the product names that Arduino team has chosen not to strong-arm.
  • Netduino
  • TinyDuino
  • DFRDuino
  • RFDuino
  • Various other (smaller) one-off boards like "R-Duino" and "G-Duino".

By those facts alone, there is absolutely NO legal ground for Arduino to pursue this product or manufacturer (it didn't stop them from trying). But let's continue...

Next, review what this project really is. And by that I mean don't skip past the full detail. Actually read through it. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fairduino/smartduino-open-system-by-former-arduinos-manufact

Lastly, understand that the name "smartduino" is not even the final product name (and there isn't just a single product - this is a full range of related products). Review the online store that lists the products with the actual final names: http://smartmaker.com/en/

The company name is "Smart Maker", which was not final when the Kickstarter campaign was underway - "SmartDuino" was a temporary working name only. All of the products are labeled under "SmartMade Open System", and they are all prefixed with "Smart" as in "SmartBus", "SmartHost", "SmartMod", and "SmartCore" (which is the closest analogue to an Arduino in this product line). The word "Arduino" only appears in the names of two boards "SmartHost for Arduino" and "SmartHost for Arduino Mega", which simply allow you to take any SmartCore and wrap it up in an Arduino/ArduinoMega compatible form-factor. This naming is fully in compliance with even the most conservative interpretation of the Arduino trademark usage restrictions. It is explicitly allowed.

You will notice that the Smart Maker even sells officially branded Arduino products as well - there is no attempt to make any of their own products look like official Arduinos or otherwise trick customers into thinking that they are in any way affiliated with the Arduino products.

I'm not making any assumptions at all.  I had previously read what the official policy of Arduino is, and I know a little about trademark law.  The official rules state:

If you're making your own board, come up with your own name! ..."Arduino" is a trademark of Arduino team and should not be used for unofficial variants.
...Not okay:

    Arduino Xxxxxx
    Xxxxxx Arduino
   



Seems clear.  That Arduino did not pursue legal action does not mean SmARtDUINO is in the right or legally allowed to use the name.  The standard for trademark infringement, IIRC, is whether a normal person would have any confusion about the relationship/origin of the products that infringe.  There were people who were confused by the naming and sought clarification from the creators - that alone proves there was confusion.

It's irrelevant if smARtDUINO was 'just a working name' as that is the name they chose to offer their products to the public under.

I'm not saying the SmaARtDUINO guys are shysters or scammers, but they most definitely leveraged the Arduino name and "relationship" (such as it was) to their advantage to get more $$.  I believe they infringed Arduino's trademark in doing so - but I'm not gonna lose any sleep over it.  If Arduino wants to sue, they can... they probably realized as most would that suing a guy in China is a fools errand, and let it go.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 03:36:45 am by Corporate666 »
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Offline MacAttak

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2013, 07:40:46 am »
I'm not making any assumptions at all.  I had previously read what the official policy of Arduino is, and I know a little about trademark law.  The official rules state:

If you're making your own board, come up with your own name! ..."Arduino" is a trademark of Arduino team and should not be used for unofficial variants.
...Not okay:

    Arduino Xxxxxx
    Xxxxxx Arduino
   



Seems clear.  That Arduino did not pursue legal action does not mean SmARtDUINO is in the right or legally allowed to use the name.  The standard for trademark infringement, IIRC, is whether a normal person would have any confusion about the relationship/origin of the products that infringe.  There were people who were confused by the naming and sought clarification from the creators - that alone proves there was confusion.

It's irrelevant if smARtDUINO was 'just a working name' as that is the name they chose to offer their products to the public under.

I'm not saying the SmaARtDUINO guys are shysters or scammers, but they most definitely leveraged the Arduino name and "relationship" (such as it was) to their advantage to get more $$.  I believe they infringed Arduino's trademark in doing so - but I'm not gonna lose any sleep over it.  If Arduino wants to sue, they can... they probably realized as most would that suing a guy in China is a fools errand, and let it go.

Suing is frivolous in this case is because of the other half of what you quote from the usage requirements. Here is the whole thing with relevant parts in bold:

Quote
While unofficial products should not have "Arduino" in their name, it's okay to describe your product in relation to the Arduino project and platform. Here are a few guidelines that explain which uses we consider reasonable. Not okay:
  • Arduino Xxxxxx
  • Xxxxxx Arduino
  • Arduino Compatible Xxxxxx - use "Xxxxxx (Arduino-Compatible)" instead
Okay:
  • Xxxxxx for Arduino - products that work with official Arduino boards (e.g. shields or kits)
  • Xxxxxx (Arduino-Compatible) - variations and clones which are software and hardware compatible
Note that while we don't attempt to restrict uses of the "duino" suffix, its use causes the Italians on the team to cringe (apparently it sounds terrible); you might want to avoid it. (It's also trademarked by a Hungarian company.)

None of the boards in the SmartMaker line are using anything that resembles a variation of the "not okay" list. Two of the boards use the highlighted variation from the "okay" list. The remaining boards have names that are 100% unrelated to the Arduino name.

So based on that information, the only thing to worry about is potential action from an unnamed Hungarian company based on the temporary name that was only used in the Kickstarter campaign's original copy text. And even if Arduino held some legal standing on this, it wouldn't matter. You cannot selectively enforce a trademark. If you fail to defend it, then you forfeit the right to defend it. That's how trademark law works. To win any infringement case, they would also need to pursue infringement cases against the other products I listed. But again, there is nothing violated here so it's all moot anyways.

Now what does happen occasionally, and what Massimo assumed was the case here, is that Chinese based manufacturers will go and produce Arduino boards - branding them as "Arduino" - and sell them into the market. Arduino has every right to defend against counterfeiting, and they should.
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2013, 08:29:57 am »
I'm not making any assumptions at all.  I had previously read what the official policy of Arduino is, and I know a little about trademark law.  The official rules state:

If you're making your own board, come up with your own name! ..."Arduino" is a trademark of Arduino team and should not be used for unofficial variants.
...Not okay:

    Arduino Xxxxxx
    Xxxxxx Arduino
   



Seems clear.  That Arduino did not pursue legal action does not mean SmARtDUINO is in the right or legally allowed to use the name.  The standard for trademark infringement, IIRC, is whether a normal person would have any confusion about the relationship/origin of the products that infringe.  There were people who were confused by the naming and sought clarification from the creators - that alone proves there was confusion.

It's irrelevant if smARtDUINO was 'just a working name' as that is the name they chose to offer their products to the public under.

I'm not saying the SmaARtDUINO guys are shysters or scammers, but they most definitely leveraged the Arduino name and "relationship" (such as it was) to their advantage to get more $$.  I believe they infringed Arduino's trademark in doing so - but I'm not gonna lose any sleep over it.  If Arduino wants to sue, they can... they probably realized as most would that suing a guy in China is a fools errand, and let it go.

Suing is frivolous in this case is because of the other half of what you quote from the usage requirements. Here is the whole thing with relevant parts in bold:

Quote
While unofficial products should not have "Arduino" in their name, it's okay to describe your product in relation to the Arduino project and platform. Here are a few guidelines that explain which uses we consider reasonable. Not okay:
  • Arduino Xxxxxx
  • Xxxxxx Arduino
  • Arduino Compatible Xxxxxx - use "Xxxxxx (Arduino-Compatible)" instead
Okay:
  • Xxxxxx for Arduino - products that work with official Arduino boards (e.g. shields or kits)
  • Xxxxxx (Arduino-Compatible) - variations and clones which are software and hardware compatible
Note that while we don't attempt to restrict uses of the "duino" suffix, its use causes the Italians on the team to cringe (apparently it sounds terrible); you might want to avoid it. (It's also trademarked by a Hungarian company.)

None of the boards in the SmartMaker line are using anything that resembles a variation of the "not okay" list. Two of the boards use the highlighted variation from the "okay" list. The remaining boards have names that are 100% unrelated to the Arduino name.

So based on that information, the only thing to worry about is potential action from an unnamed Hungarian company based on the temporary name that was only used in the Kickstarter campaign's original copy text. And even if Arduino held some legal standing on this, it wouldn't matter. You cannot selectively enforce a trademark. If you fail to defend it, then you forfeit the right to defend it. That's how trademark law works. To win any infringement case, they would also need to pursue infringement cases against the other products I listed. But again, there is nothing violated here so it's all moot anyways.

Now what does happen occasionally, and what Massimo assumed was the case here, is that Chinese based manufacturers will go and produce Arduino boards - branding them as "Arduino" - and sell them into the market. Arduino has every right to defend against counterfeiting, and they should.

The claim that "nothing was violated" is an opinion that is not supported by case law.  All that really matters is whether the use of a name caused confusion to average consumers.  The answer to that can't be anything other than "yes" since that confusion was displayed on the kickstarter comments page.  So to the question of "did the name cause average people to think there was an affiliation" - it's a resounding yes.

It's true that a trademark must be defended for it to be valid, however I don't know that the trademark hasn't been defended... and granting a limited license as they do does not give others free reign to use the name as they see fit (in other words, just because some terms were called "not OK" does not limit infringement to only those terms.  It seems clear that they do not want the "Arduino" part used as part of someone else's product name, which smARtDUINO does).

It seems clear the smARtDUINO guys recognized this as they spent some time "clarifying" things, and apparently changed the name. 
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 08:31:36 am by Corporate666 »
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Offline quantumvolt

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I never saw this on Kickstarter, but I like it. It seems that no boards / modules are available yet.



Anyone interested in making a similar simpler design of a motherboard / docking bus / development board with satellite connectors to different platforms / modules / logic / analog / whatever ...

On eBay there are producers of colored cute modern silk mask double sided PCBs starting from USD  30-40 for 10 small units. So I guess it should be possible to get 100 decent sized main bus boards for a few hundred dollars. So if 50+ forum members go for a board or two each we are talking about 10/20 or so dollar per head.

And the fun of quarreling about the design here is free  ;D

« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 11:33:39 pm by quantumvolt »
 

Offline AlfBaz

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Yeah but only if the mother board uses an MC68000 in a 40 pin cerdip package with a zif socket :)
 

Offline quantumvolt

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Yeah but only if the mother board uses an MC68000 in a 40 pin cerdip package with a zif socket :)

OK for me. We place something like the left hand side of this board in the mid back side of the motherboard and a socket for a separate bus-to-solder breadboard with a solderless breadboard on top placed on the front edge. Also imo a board including display, keypad, switches, leds etc should be connected to the front side.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 11:57:15 pm by quantumvolt »
 

Offline MacAttak

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It has been discussed here in a different thread (though not in a few months): https://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/smartduino-real-project-with-deceptive-info/

*Some* of the parts can be obtained now from their web store at http://smartmaker.com/. The "Starter Kit" and "Tinkerer Kit" (and any individual component of those) are available. Everything else is restricted from being sold on the web store until production is complete and the kickstarter backers have been shipped their items first (the Starter and Tinkerer kits already shipped to backers). Current production status: http://smartmaker.szpeja.pl/

But anyways, there is no need to re-invent the concept. You can get details on the connector pinout and Eagle footprints from their website. The DF-9 connectors are pretty decent and use minimal board space - much better than crappy 0.1" headers used on standard Arduino boards. Also, the design accomodates two pinout bus widths - the "basic" bus with 20 GPIO plus supply, SPI, I2C, and serial lines and a "full" bus that adds 54 more GPIO signals via additional connectors.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 12:49:41 am by MacAttak »
 

Offline quantumvolt

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Thank you. Yes I have seen the layout of the two buses - I think I have found more or less all there is about the product on the web - including the producers family vs. business priorities.

The shop you link to seems to be totally dead. Could you please refer to ANY yellow board for sale AND in stock. The production status link shows why I think ti is better to go the DIY way: The man has taken big big dollars and almost a year after there is not a single forum post / video / blog anywhere showing any substantial proof that the boards have materialized for real.

Judging by the mans videos and forum / blog posts I also do not think I would ever reflect on buying anything from him. So I am waiting for the bus board to be for sale at serious suppliers. I guess I will have to wait a while ...

Never mind, if nobody here is interested - and the yellow boards cannot be bought from other suppliers - I'll just get a big Vero board and paint it with a rainbow. It doesn't take a PhD to connect 80 copper traces to some connectors ...
 

Offline MacAttak

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Like I said - many of the items are actually in stock, but the company owner is not allowing them to be sold until kickstarter backer orders have been shipped out.

Direct links to the two kits that can be purchased:
http://smartmaker.com/index.php/smartmade/open-system/kits/open-system-starter-kit.html
http://smartmaker.com/index.php/smartmade/open-system/kits/open-system-tinkerer-kit.html

You can find each of the subitems from those kits listed individually elsewhere on the web store (and they should all be in-stock).

People have reported buying these kits and receiving them. There were a couple of short reviews out there - but I cannot seem to find them right now. I thought they were uploaded to youtube but I cannot find them.
 

Offline MacAttak

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Meant to add this - but I don't blame you for being hesitant to put down any cash on anything from there. There has been no shortage of drama, and the customer service has left quite a bit to be desired. Which is totally odd because there is a very popular IGG campaign for "$9 Arduino Clones" that is running amazingly smoothly and is shipping early - and that campaign was run by exactly the same people.
 

Offline quantumvolt

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Thanks again. Well hidden. When in the main menu http://smartmaker.com/index.php/ both the 'smartmade' and the 'platforms/arduino' choices leads nowhere - so I guessed there were nothing at all.

One might in best case say that the site is very poorly maintained, but I will follow it. As soon as I find empirical evidence that a few people have bought it post-kickstarter, I will put in an order. No big deal - I am willing to gamble with USD 29 to get some yellow boards to my collection of blue, green, red, black, white ... (compulsive brick-board collector  :-DD)
 

Offline quantumvolt

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Well ... I have spent a few hours rereading the saga. And I found this:

http://kicksucker.tumblr.com/post/57710158633/smartmaker-101-readers-digest-version


Amazing story. Being a European living in Thailand and intimately knowing life in Asia, I would highly recommend the smARtDUINO guy developing eyes in the neck. Will be fun to see what happens with the (yet not tangible) 9$ Arduino clone  >:D

I guess I will have to go the Vero&Paint way for a prototype and then make 10 boards for myself via a Chinese fleabay PCB sweatshop ...
 

Offline MacAttak

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Keep in mind that the author of that tumblr is an extremely dissatisfied kickstarter backer who is now on something of a crusade to tell his perspective to anyone who will listen.

The whole situation really sucks because the idea itself was great, and the price was reasonable. It's been the execution and delivery that have sucked.

Regarding the $9 Arduino project, backers received notices this morning that shipments were starting today on a FCFS basis (after confirming shipping address). Not really much left to go wrong on that one, unless they come out and say "haha no we were just kidding! we didn't really make any boards!"
 

Offline kicksucker2013

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Re: Forum Crowd Cost Sharing ? smARtDUINO I/O Bus MOD (Arduino/Raspberry/AVR/PIC)
« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2013, 04:11:48 pm »
Keep in mind that the author of that tumblr is an extremely dissatisfied kickstarter backer who is now on something of a crusade to tell his perspective to anyone who will listen.

The whole situation really sucks because the idea itself was great, and the price was reasonable. It's been the execution and delivery that have sucked.

Regarding the $9 Arduino project, backers received notices this morning that shipments were starting today on a FCFS basis (after confirming shipping address). Not really much left to go wrong on that one, unless they come out and say "haha no we were just kidding! we didn't really make any boards!"

Lol, sure Big Mac, you can minimize what has transpired - I am completely intolerant of the barrage of lies, misdirects and mountain of other b.s. Dimitri Albino and Harold Timmis have spewed over the past year - Campaigns run late, I get that... my Kickstarter profile clearly demonstrates I understand legitimate delays and issues - It also demonstrates that my issues have nothing to do with the delay and everything to do with integrity and transparency.

Not on a crusade either, I am however very intrigued and disturbed by the fact that a guy with no history of contributing anything to open source; blatently lied about his background; openly disrespected the founder of Arduino and then took his design and cloned it; has a documented history going back to 2004 of misleading, not delivering and representing Chinese knockoff's of questionable quality is making a complete mockery of everything OSHW and the open source community is based on and laughing all the way to the bank.

I imagine the $9 Arduino project was able to be delivered quickly as Massimo and his team did all the work - The new Arduino book is a compilation of open source documents developed by a guy over years who has passion in what he does; Smartmaker, Dimitri and Harold are simply parasites leeching off of the work people have done.  Neither of them have contributed anything original, rebranding someone else's work and profiting from it hardly qualifies as a contribution.

The issue at hand has far greater ramifications than any one project or anyone person.
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: Forum Crowd Cost Sharing ? smARtDUINO I/O Bus MOD (Arduino/Raspberry/AVR/PIC)
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2013, 01:35:41 am »
Hello Sixto, nice to see that you've joined us.

Yes, as wilfred brings up - please share any actual evidence that isn't already widely known. Opinions will not go very far here - no matter how strongly you believe them, only fact.

As far as "minimizing" goes, I would dispute that. I simply try to call things as I see them, without predisposition. I've changed my mind many times regarding many crowdfunded campaigns - but always only when new and reliable evidence is presented. You haven't met that bar yet. But I do encourage you to make your case as long as it isn't just a rehash of the same arguments or a back-link to your tumblr site.

Also, as you can probably see here, this forum provides a great place to get some honest and sound discussion about the technical merits and delivery risks of new funding campaigns before they close. If you encounter a new one that interests you, but you have concerns about whether it can really be pulled off, then there is probably already a thread here talking about it (or should be).
 

Offline kicksucker2013

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Re: Forum Crowd Cost Sharing ? smARtDUINO I/O Bus MOD (Arduino/Raspberry/AVR/PIC)
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2013, 07:11:41 am »
@wilfred If you check out the posts I have written, all links to supporting documentation are provided.  If you have any specifics you would like, jist let me know and I will gladly provide the links.

It is really pretty black and white,  Kickstarter does not allow editing of comments unlike Indiegogo.  Dimitri's lies are clearly documented by his own hand - My opinions are typically accompanied by a copy and paste of his words and a hyperlink to the source.

@Bigmac does it make you feel superior somehow it call me by my given name vs. my screen name?  I think it is cute you pay attention, and somehow doubt macattack is your given name...  So how about we drop the posturing and focus on the facts.  I have been reading your comments for a while now and habe yet to find anything except your opinions, if you have facts that prove mine inaccurate please post them.  I have no issues correcting and acknowledging - To date, there have been no verifiable inaccuracies provided in my cited facts.
 

Offline Bored@Work

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Re: Forum Crowd Cost Sharing ? smARtDUINO I/O Bus MOD (Arduino/Raspberry/AVR/PIC)
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2013, 10:43:03 am »
For every crowdfunding scammer there will be people defending the scammer. MacAttack has defended that particular scammer right from the beginning. Makes you wounder what his relation with the scammer is, despite his $300 "investment".
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Offline MacAttak

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Re: Forum Crowd Cost Sharing ? smARtDUINO I/O Bus MOD (Arduino/Raspberry/AVR/PIC)
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2013, 11:59:35 am »
That's quite enough Bored@Work. There is no reason to be rude or insulting, and I'm very surprised that you would stoop so low to make such an accusation particularly when you seem to have none of the background of this. Were you a backer on this project? If not, then there are 978 comments and 71 updates there (plus all the comments on those updates) which you should read up on before playing judge and jury.

Don't confuse me with the person(s) running that campaign. I have nothing to do with them, nor have I ever met them, been offered a bribe, or whatever else you might throw out there. Wonder no longer though - here is the entry from my KS backer history page. Not that I really need to prove anything.



Oh but that's not $300! No, it isn't. I also added more to my order after the close of the project, as many others were suckered into doing. $31 more in fact.



I won't bother explaining why it says "canceled" next to the $31 charge or why the other one shows $300 instead of $269.



@Sixto: No, it doesn't. But apparently it makes you feel superior to use neither my given name nor my screen name, but instead to create one with intent to ridicule.

My reply to you was exceptionally polite and mature. I would hope that you take a cue from that when you make your third post to this forum. Because your first two certainly were not either.

If you would like to focus on facts then post your facts and they can be discussed point for point. So far your two posts here have been nothing but vaguely stated character assassination attacks on the reputations of people who don't even visit these forums (as far as I know). And also some ominous reference to a "greater issue" that you have yet to illuminate.
 

Offline kicksucker2013

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Re: Forum Crowd Cost Sharing ? smARtDUINO I/O Bus MOD (Arduino/Raspberry/AVR/PIC)
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2013, 02:09:24 pm »
For every crowdfunding scammer there will be people defending the scammer. MacAttack has defended that particular scammer right from the beginning. Makes you wounder what his relation with the scammer is, despite his $300 "investment".

Hit the nail on the head.
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: Forum Crowd Cost Sharing ? smARtDUINO I/O Bus MOD (Arduino/Raspberry/AVR/PIC)
« Reply #39 on: September 15, 2013, 03:37:46 pm »
For every crowdfunding scammer there will be people defending the scammer. MacAttack has defended that particular scammer right from the beginning. Makes you wounder what his relation with the scammer is, despite his $300 "investment".

Hit the nail on the head.

Let me get this straight. So your new theory is that *I* am in cahoots with Dimitri and have a reason to protect (potentially) fraudulent activity?

That's rich.
 

Offline MacAttak

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #40 on: November 29, 2013, 03:24:15 pm »
The proverbial turds have really hit the fan on this one lately. Backers are now looking for assistance from regulatory agencies and fraud crime units after the project owner failed to meet his latest target date (which is a year after funding ended, and over 9 months past the original ship date).

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fairduino/smartduino-open-system-by-former-arduinos-manufact/comments

I personally gave the project owner benefit of the doubt for a long time, but some of the recent revelations have been enough to convince me that I made a mistake in doing so.
 

Offline MacAttak

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There was already another thread on this topic - hopefully a mod will see this and lock this one so that further discussion can be followed in one place.

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/smartduino-real-project-with-deceptive-info/


Merged
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 04:53:36 pm by GeoffS »
 

Offline Rasz

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2013, 04:48:35 pm »
wasnt there a YT clip like  a year ago from some Florida office with new employees packaging ready goods? or am I thinking about another KS/IG campaign?

Ian from Dangerous proto. had a talk with Igor ~2 years ago. Looked legit at the time
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Offline quantumvolt

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...

Judging by the mans videos and forum / blog posts I also do not think I would ever reflect on buying anything from him. So I am waiting for the bus board to be for sale at serious suppliers. I guess I will have to wait a while ...

Never mind, if nobody here is interested - and the yellow boards cannot be bought from other suppliers - I'll just get a big Vero board and paint it with a rainbow. It doesn't take a PhD to connect 80 copper traces to some connectors ...

Well ... I never did the paint job. As an old man living after the maxim "Better boards then broads" I used my cash on red, black, green, white, grey and blue boards. I tried to contact the SmartMaker shop once, but soon realized that my initially unjustified gut feeling towards the "I do it Yellow" team was somewhat (very) right.

However -  I knew the boards would soon appear "used" (read the comments on KS: the general opinion now is that they are "use"-less. As a bus system, I agree that a flat/ribbon cable is far better - but I am not in for the tech stuff: I am only in for the color).

So I have been looking for the first dumped boards. And yesterday I found them on fleabay. Auction starting price USD 0.99 - BIN USD 10. But only shipping to USA.

After some polite to and from I got them for USD 20 plus USPS First Class Intl. shipping USD 15 (i.e. in sum a negative price compared to fleabay new Global Shipping Program that was more than USD 40 in shipping and fees)

Anyway - the seller was happy, and I got my yellow boards  :-DD

http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/z/BPAAAOxyni9TEnNV/$_57.JPG




 

Online Marco

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Neither of them have contributed anything original, rebranding someone else's work and profiting from it hardly qualifies as a contribution.

Driving cost down is a valuable contribution ... this is just the reality of simple hardware with open source software, the hardware can be cloned easily without infringing copyright.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 01:05:39 am by Marco »
 

Offline kicksucker2013

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Driving cost down is a valuable contribution ... this is just the reality of simple hardware with open source software, the hardware can be cloned easily without infringing copyright.

As it has already been documented multiple times, there was no cost driven down - almost identical products (and based on reviews better quality) could be and can still be found on sites like eBay, aliexpress and several others.

There is no defense for this guy; he misrepresented everything about the project, his ability and his background. Period.

He is a sleazy internet marketer with a history of deceptive marketing, malware and failure to deliver hiding behind a mountain of lies.  He found an opportunity and milked it for all it was worth.
 

Offline kicksucker2013

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Re: smARtDUINO - Real project with deceptive info
« Reply #46 on: March 05, 2014, 09:03:00 am »
I linked to the hackaday article where they explain better. Basically the project claimed they manufactured real Arduinos but now are making their own project. By "manufacturing" they meant hired two former employees, but you won't see that on their kickstarter page.

http://hackaday.com/2012/11/27/kickstarter-incurs-the-wrath-of-arduino-creator/

Even this big charade was a lie - http://kicksucker.tumblr.com/post/78582148252/smartmaker-all-in-the-family
 


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