Arduino Vs. Arduino: Arduino Won

For the last two years, Arduino LLC (the, Massimo one) and Arduino SRL (the, Musto one) have been locked in battle over the ownership of the Arduino trademark. That fight is finally over. Announced at the New York Maker Faire today, “Arduino” will now go to Arduino Holding, the single point of distribution for new products, and a non-profit Arduino Foundation, responsible for the community and Arduino IDE.

Since early 2015, Arduino — not the Arduino community, but the organization known as Arduino — has been split in half. Arduino LLC sued Arduino SRL for trademark infringement. The case began when Arduino SRL, formerly Smart Projects SRL and manufacturers of the Arduino boards with a tiny map of Italy on the silk screen, began selling under the Arduino name. Arduino LLC, on the other hand, wanted to internationalize the brand and license production to other manufacturers.

While Arduino and Arduino have been tied up in court for the last few years, from the outside this has look like nothing else but petty bickering. Arduino SRL forked the Arduino IDE and bumped up the version number. Later, an update from SRL was pushed out to Amazon buyers telling them was the real Arduino. Resellers were in a tizzy, and for a time Maker Faires had two gigantic Arduino booths. No one knew what was going on.

All of this is now behind us. The open source hardware community’s greatest source of drama is now over.

I spoke with Massimo after the announcement, and although the groundwork is laid out, the specifics aren’t ready to be disclosed yet. There’s still a lot to work out, like what to do with the Github repo, which TLD will be used (we’re rooting for .org), support for the multitude of slightly different products released from both camps over the years, and finer points that aren’t publicly visible. In a few months, probably before the end of the year, we’ll get all the answers to this. Now, though, the Arduino wars are over. Arduino is dead, long live Arduino.

89 thoughts on “Arduino Vs. Arduino: Arduino Won

      1. They tried but couldn’t agree on whether the pizza should have a thin base or a thick base, and what should be on top. They did agree however that there should be no pineapple.

          1. People talk about fruit on pizza but I always get a Zole e Mele or Grana e Pere, apple and gorgonzola and pear and grana padano when I am in northern Italy all the time.

        1. They actually had a bagna caoda, bein near Turin, they had eaten with their different vegatables like carrots, potatoes, broccoli, red beet and peppers. A lot of bottles of Erbaluce di Caluso and Gianduiotti chocolates

          I am from Turin. I wonder why nobody knows northerner foofs abroad….

        2. In my experience, it’s not that pineapple doesn’t go with pizza, but that it doesn’t go with garlic to a great extent or tomato to any. The solution? Use a cream cheese based sauce instead of traditional tomato sauce. (Maybe spiced and slightly sweetened.) Cream cheese pineapple and ham = WIN!!!

      1. My favorite joke when I order pancakes at IHOP: When they bring me my order (pancake) they will ask if I need anything else. I say “Ketchup please!”.
        Then watch the reaction! :)

    1. What!? I’ve never done that!
      Newman’s Own pasta sauce as a starter, add some turmeric and hot pepper. Onions and peppers of course; don’t forget homemade garlic bread…

    2. bs i do everything from scratch. Italians still wouldn’t call it Italian food but its damn good eats by ‘murican standards. i stole the recipe from the guy who used to cook for Shatner.

  1. I read this through and after that I didn’t have a clue who now owns Arduino.

    This line didn’t help ““Arduino” will now to Arduino Holding”
    Perhaps “go to” ??

    The linked article saved the confusion. My expectation was that the dispute resulted in one successor and while that is *technically* true, it is not at all obvious from the article.

    Thanks all the same [Benchoff], I enjoy your articles.

    1. However stupid it sounds, there is precedence. My personal favorite is a truck driver who sued the company he worked for because he ran over his own daughter during work hours during a “ride-along”.

      I thought cases like Arduino were corner cases but I guess they’re not.

  2. “…the team is working together to continue to offer the best open hardware and software..”

    No. They have been left in the dust by Teensy and other such efforts. And PJRC continues to fix stuff in the arduino libs and IDE that these organizations seem unable or unwilling to; so again, no, it is no longer the best in any category.

      1. Open is most important where the design is poor or the implementation is not of professional quality. PJRC products are neither. Closed is fatal where the community is weak, or the designers are marginally competent. In any case, poor ardy design decisions in both hw and sw have a history of being graciously fixed by Paul Stoffregen (sp?)

      2. Fortunately not open hardware, since the support is so good. I use Teensies everywhere that the cost is not absolutely prohibitive—I’ve bought a few hundred of them over the years for various projects. My only request would be to have a version that melds a Teensy 3.x with the Audio Adapter Board, into a board that’s smaller (than the combination), cheaper (than the sum), and more reliable (because of not needing all those header pins for interconnection).

          1. Heavens no. Not Eagle – it is closed. Must only use KiCad.

            Snarkiness aside, Do prefer KiCad for personal stuff. And PJRC will sale the boot chip for those that want to embed a Teensy 3.x into their design.

            Open source does not always indicate best of breed, or much of anything. Arduinios have been slow to innovate, slow to exterminate lib bugs, and a bit too engrossed in ego maintenance. That said, the ‘professional’ engineering community generally commends the efforts of the various ardy groups to bring the power of electronics to the artistic masses.

          2. Who said anything about snark? I absolutely refuse to use Eagle for exactly that reason. Life is too short to get locked into something that can go away any time. As for Arduinos, any of them – the “genuine” ones are way, way overpriced to be of any use but the $3-4 clones can be quite useful as the MCU breakout boards that they actually are, whenever I don’t quite feel like making a whole custom PCB for something minor, or to test things quickly.

          3. Not sure about your assumption that open source can’t ‘go away’ at any time. Sure, the source is there (if you had a copy before the official repo went down), but you’re on your own porting it from the now-obsolete OS/HW/dependancy/file-format/etc… to work on your modern system, or to add support for the new thing which is now necessary.
            Open source projects are abandoned a lot.

    1. Yes, best read ever about the Great Imbroglio ! :) Thank you ever so much for pointing this great article by Hernando Barragán, the real initiator of this system commonly referred to as Arduino.

      It could have been just another self-celebrating autobiography, but it has some things that are sadly missed, not only in Arduino stories but in most “artsy-geeky” (in)substantial writings and videos : real knowledge, extensive research (which leads to facts and proper credits) and objective criticism (which can nurture reflection and fair debate).

    2. I am a bit confused about two things.

      Hernando Barragán repeated a couple of times that the ‘Arduino guys’ hardly credited Wiring with where most of the Arduino work originated from. Maybe it is just me but somehow I knew this and knew about his work and I believe my knowledge of it all came from the Arduino website.

      So I don’t think the ‘Arduino guys’ are completely guilty for not giving credit to Hernando and Wiring.

      The other point he mentions, that they forked his work but never asked him to participate, doesn’t really mean anything. That is the nature of Open Source right? To take someone else’s work and expand upon it. There is nothing wrong there.

      Not wanting his help could be a number of reasons. Logistics (he was in Colombia), personality conflicts (they may not like him), or maybe he was too nice of a guy. I don’t know.

      1. If you boil it down to compliance with the General Public License, probably nothing is wrong there. But from a moral and ethical perspective, there would be much to discuss, as right or wrong depends of one’s (or community’s) beliefs and rule of conducts.

        In my humble opinion, more than being simply disrespectful and ungrateful, this kind of attitude undermines the academic, hobbyist and non-commercial involvement, as well as the community spirit in the long run, and everyday I can perceive it as a very big loss for people and society, but nothing new here…
        Anyhow, to me the true nature of “free (as in freedom) software movement” is about sharing, and sharing cannot always be a one-way street (except for vampires, of course).

        Turning the original concept into a revenue of millions of dollar is no small achievement from Arduino people and businesses for sure, but whatever pesonnality conflicts may exist, as a most important collaborator to the project for years, they could have proposed Barragan to hire him at some point (if not in recognition and a way to give him back for his crucial work, at least it could have been somewhat beneficial to their image, for once).

        But instead they barely credited him, even failing to mention his preponderant role in a documentary dedicated to retrace the genesis of it all ! Yeah, probably nothing wrong, and quite normal (just like purchasing this open-design hardware directly from people who “optimized” its selling price a lot) but I prefer when it’s right.

      2. I accidentally clicked ‘report’, my fault. Sorry.

        Licence wise they likely did nothing wrong. PR wise they spun a tale where they created this thing in 2/3 days. Wizards.

        With open source, as with anything, it’s always best to start off by trying to work with people on an existing thing than just fork it and forget all about them while blowing your own trumpet. If there are problems or clashes forking is an option sure, but at least don’t try and fudge the history of where the idea comes from, and the work it’s built upon.

        Again, sorry for the ‘report’, an honest mistake.

  3. Having known much of Hernando’s story all along (by keeping up with its since I started with Arduino in the early days) it for ever “chaps” me to see how the story is retold with regularity using revised details. Victors re-write history for convenience. Neither side on the Arduino vs Arduino situation were squeaky clean.

  4. Wiring became Arduino because Hernando graduated and moved back to Columbia? Massimo: “Look, we found this ‘orphaned’ school project… lets make it our own and keep it alive!”

    1. There’s gotta be more to it, like how the hell did Pink Floyd release an album in 1995 with a blinking LED on the spine if arduino didn’t exist under some name back then? …. ;-)

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