[Massimo], one of the creators of the Arduino, is a little perturbed over what passes for the truth over on Kickstarter.
While [Massimo] does recognize that Kickstarter can be a force of good launching garage-designed projects into the hands of willing consumers, he noticed something was a little fishy with the recent smARtDUINO kickstarter (notice the capital letters, by the way). Right near the top of the smARtDUINO’s kickstarter page is the phrase, “For years we manufactured the ARDUINO in Italy. Now we created a new Open System: modular, scalable, the world’s cheapest and smallest!”
Being at the top of the Arduino organization, you’d think [Massimo] would have heard of these former Arduino manufacturers. The name didn’t ring a bell to him, so he called up the factory. No one at the factory had heard of them, and after a long search it was finally revealed the head of the smARtDUINO project hired two factory workers who worked for a supplier the official Arduino manufacturer uses.
[Massimo] makes the comparison of, “if he hires two factory workers from Ford he can claim he used to manufacture Ford cars.” We’re thinking that’s a little generous. It’s more like hiring two people who used to restock the vending machines in a Foxconn plant and claiming you used to build Apple computers.
With a simple trademark infringement on his hands, [Massimo] contacted Kickstarter to see what could be done. Kickstarter replied:
Thanks for writing in and bringing this to our attention. This is a matter that must be taken up directly with the project creator. You can contact them by clicking “Contact me” on the project page.
For [Massimo], and us, that’s just not a sufficient answer. We’re thinking Kickstarter has an obligation to vet their projects and make sure the creators of these projects are who they say they are.
But enough about what we think. What do you, the Hackaday reader, think about this situation?