Blog Home

The perfect teal, new Arduino silk color and graphics

Zoe RomanoNovember 14th, 2014


Last year Massimo Banzi wrote a long post on this blog to explain the genealogy of Arduino.  He described how an open-hardware project, designed to lower the barriers to prototyping interactive projects, was able to find its way into economical sustainability and still keep innovating.

He clearly explained what an original Arduino is, and why its cost is a matter of maintaining an open-source ecosystem, and not only of manufacturing and distributing the boards.

He detailed out what ‘counterfeit Arduinos’ are, and why they are harmful to the whole open-source hardware movement. We release Arduino’s hardware design files so that people could make their own versions, but this doesn’t mean manufacturing boards only for profit and pretending to be Arduino.

 We don’t release any element of the Arduino brand identity (logo and graphics of the boards), so whoever uses the trademarked Arduino graphics makes a deliberate act of Trademark infringement and prevent us in our effort to guarantee the quality of our products, always replaceable if defective.

We also created a page on our website showing how to spot a counterfeit Arduino.

As you can see at the link, we recently upgraded the page with new pictures as we are entering a new phase: we are redesigning the PCB silkscreens of all Arduino boards, in production in the next few months. As you might imagine, this is going to be a long process as it cannot happen in one night. The new silk will be better counterfeit-proof, and will allow you to recognise an original Arduino just by a quick look.



As you can see in the images above (click on the images for hi-res), we changed some graphic elements of the board and also switched to a different shade of teal.

In the next months we will upgrade the pictures of the boards in the product pages of the Arduino website as they roll out and are distributed around the world. It’s a transitioning phase so stay tuned for more news on the blog!

20 Responses to “The perfect teal, new Arduino silk color and graphics”

  1. bobcousins Says:

    For clarity, all Open Source licenses allow users to manufacture and sell copies of the Open Source design. It’s a fundamental principle of Open Source. Arduino don’t indicate which Open Source license they use, but the same principle should apply.

    Trademarks are a separate issue. By definition, you can’t let others use your trademark as it will lose it’s trademark status. A trademark can’t be part of an Open Source design.

    In any case, copyright does not apply to a PCB layout, so legally there is no restriction on copying a PCB layout (as long as trademarks or patents are not infringed).

  2. FreeSoftwareDave Says:

    To be clear, the article above does not say that other concerns should not produce hardware based on the arduino platform specs. The issue they are putting forth is one of support. When other entities produce hardware that mimics the real arduino colors/layout they are misleading consumers why are trying to buy genuine arduino materials because such a purchase furthers the efforts of the arduino franchise to produce better and better hardware.

    In purchasing a non-arduino board, people are making a conscious decision to buy from the 3rd party for whatever reason. That is exactly what a Free license allows, no harm no foul, but the consumer must not be mislead.

  3. flagtrax Says:

    Personally to me using the terms “open source” and “counterfit” in the same definition is an oxymoron. If Aurduino is truely open source as repeatedly stated, then the term trademark should not apply. Just my humble opinion.

  4. Zoe Romano Says:

    Hi Flagtrax, trademark on open source is not an oxymoron. It helps to avoid misleading users and it’s used also on many open source softwares

  5. mirlok Says:

    I’ve been a software designer, engineer for 15 years now. I’m very aggrivated by your post. I don’t mind the trademark software. But as stated you sell these boards for profits so we can prototype in an open-source enviornment.

    Right now I am designing something with arduino that will save lives, and it will be manufactured for a profit for the medical field and research labratory. I am about 99% complete with my very confidential project, but again. We are talking about something I have made that will change the world and how you live. Something as stated above, that will save human lives. And in a plethroa of manners, mind you. If you want to trademark the boards so I cannot produce them, I will just use my knowledge to re-code, nano-size the unit, and make something better than your Italian product. Because lets face it, you aren’t Silicon Valley. Or even Japan.

    So go ahead and trademark or sue or whatever you would like, you will get no support for me, and will just frustrate me enough to make a better quality product. (Computers are very easy to manufacture, and you have quite limited cache/memory/functionality for your “reputation”.)

    So go ahead, and argue that you are for the greater good, when now I am viewing you as a wolf in sheeps cloathing.

    Very disappointed, you have let people like me who are trying to use your product to change medicine and safety… Well hell, all open-source end users down. Thanks, go ahead and stamp your name away. Literally.

  6. mirlok Says:

    I actually believe I can clone you’re technology, and make it 100x better and smaller and faster, and just shut your whole open-source board scam you have going on here; How’s that for an upset end-user?

  7. mirlok Says:

    sincerely yours, a very upset VIP in the computer/software world. =)

  8. Totoro Says:

    I feel I must address a serious misunderstanding here. The concept of open source does allow you to copy the design. You can download the Gerber files and send them to a PC manufacturer and use the published bill of materials and produce your own devices that are just like theirs. All legal. But what you cannot legally do is mark them as Arduino with their trademarked name, logo and other markings.
    If I want to support the efforts of Arduino and choose to buy a board manufactured by Arduino, I am being deceived if the board was built to look like theirs. If you make a copy and label it as other than an Arduino (their trademarked name) you are free to sell it. By implying that it was built by Arduino by stamping their trademarked name and logo on it, you’re violating the law.

  9. TheFlorifant Says:

    I feel like many of the above users haven’t actually read the post about clones, counterfits and privacy infringement.

    Read before you piss everyone off! It clearly states that everything about arduino is open-source, accept the graphic design. Yes there are good clones out there, but these have an agreement with Arduino and they do not use the design of the Arduino. However those who do use this design and claim to be an actual arduino, when they are not, this is a counterfit!

  10. rlogiacco Says:

    @mirlok I’m really trying to keep calm in order to provide a reply, but let’s state I feel offended by you and I do not work for Arduino or anything.
    First of all they are not targeting your “life saving” project: they are trying to protect YOU, customer, from being FOOLED to have bought ORIGINAL Arduino hardware while, in reality, what you have in your hands is a COUNTERFEIT. Not a clone, but a COUNTERFEIT!
    So, unless your life saving project is going to use Arduino clones PRETENDING to be original ones you are not going to be impacted by this: you can still buy Arduino clones and Arduino clones are still going to be produced, simply because Arduino is an open source hardware and software platform.
    Actually what they are doing will HELP your project reach production, simply because if you decide to buy ORIGINAL Arduino, you will have an higher and better guarantee you are actually buying an original one. On the other hand, I doubt you want to use anything close to Arduino for your product production, but that’s another story.

    Now, if you did understand your mistake, I expect an apology from you toward all Italian people and every one working at Arduino (Italian or not), because you offended them all with your nonsense and unmotivated aggression.

    BTW, I’m curious to know who you are having stated you are a VIP in computer/software world: my name is Roberto Lo Giacco in case you want to find out who am I.

  11. rlogiacco Says:

    And for sake of clarity, the Arduino team states the license of their design on all their design files and in this very website FAQs: Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike.
    Their software is released under LGPL.

  12. Leone_Euglena Says:

    I personally want to state that I support 100% all the Arduino’s team efforts to protect customer form being scammed. It’s just too much sad to read posts such as mirlok wrote.

    As long as possible I will always prefer to buy an Arduino original product because I value the possibility the benefits that this automatically imply, including the idea that my 2 little cents I am contributing to support the entire “Arduino package”, which goes from an amazing community based to the dissemination and vulgarisation of electronics, which the entire world’s population already starts benefitting from.

  13. narayanj Says:

    From what I understand, Arduino is Open Sourced for the electronic enthusiast to use the circuit in his project or modify it to work better or whatever. They can also sell clones or derivatives as long as they do not mislead the customers to think that they are buying the Original Arduino Product which has under gone several quality checks and also help the Arduino team by profits to work on better products.

    Some cloners copy the exact colour and logos of Arduino which is misleading to customers thinking that they are buying an Original Arduino product thus supporting But actually they are buying an inferior product that does not help or the open hardware movement at all.

  14. narayanj Says:

    The older Blue is the standard RoHS PCB colour, Arduino products should use a different custom made colour to keep counterfeiters from making products that look like the original.

  15. flagtrax Says:

    “terms “open source” and “counterfit” in the same definition is an oxymoron” I made this statement in the sence that the two are apples and oranges. Open source by one definition is “In production and development, open source as a development model promotes a universal access via a free license to a product’s design or blueprint, and universal redistribution of that design or blueprint, including subsequent improvements to it by anyone.” In that sense, “counterfeiting” simply can not exist. Trademarking has always been used to protect a products MARKET value, which clearly would not be open source. I have seen many argue the quality of varying sources of product boards without regard to the origin of the components on the boards. The vast majority of consumer electronics are made in asia. Most share the same origin. After working over 30 years for a large international communications company, I do understand the need for “branding” in a business model. But again a business model and open source are 2 different things.

  16. ktorn Says:

    @flagtrax just because Arduino makes their designs open source doesn’t give others the right to use their trademarked name or logo in their clones.

    If you think that open source is incompatible with any business model then you are wrongly assuming that open source is strickly something you do on your own spare time, outside of your day job, and this is clearly not the case. Many companies base their business around open source products. I’m glad that’s the case, as otherwise we’d always be stuck with proprietary products.

    You should not confuse free as in beer (gratis) with free as in freedom. Even FOSS advocates such as the Free Software Foundation “encourage selling free software”. Same thing applies to open hardware.

    I’m personally very excited about the ways in which distributed cryptocurrencies and micro-transactions can be used to provide a fair distribution of value to open source/hardware stacks, and I’m working to put together a working prototype of the Cascading Revenue Sharing Protocol (CRSP) as a proof-of-concept of what can be done going forward.

  17. kunakos Says:

    Yeah, I feel bad whenever I skip buying the original, and end up with a lot cheaper clone (bacause I’m broke). But at least I try to find something that doesn’t even try to pretend, like this:
    And there are some clones/derivatives out there that are in many ways better than the original.
    But I’m a sucker for this redesign and will order as soon as it becomes available in my country, because I need another board and some stickers 🙂

  18. Pyllolla Says:

    Self-claiming VIPs of scumware should realize that their boasted VIPness may sound just like “I am the Emperor of Earth” or “I am the Chosen One” to serious readers, and avoid such childish language and behaviour. Enough said

  19. Vrizla Says:

    Anyone who has left a negative comment aimed towards Arduino, in response to the problem with counterfeit boards has either not read/misread Massimo’s post or is clueless to how the OS Model benefits the community. In either case I ask that you review what his message was saying along with the long list of freedoms the team has not only given, but even encouraged users from it’s initial release!!!

    Their generosity has sparked the interest in people who never would have became involved in electronics design. It was Arduino’s innovative design that gave people a fresh perspective; viewing the full spectrum of ways they could apply and unlock their full creativity.

    Combined with the Internet and social networking the open sharing of ideas has exponentially increased the speed and process from ideas to designs then consumer products. They want people to share their passion by the use of their design platform.

    You can reproduce the board or even improve it; but they draw the line at Falsely Representing it. If someone produces a counterfeit with intent to device people you are not only stealing from Arduino you are defacing their reputation. I fully support these views and if I ever happen to become aware of counterfeits; You Bet I Will Report Them!

  20. culturedropout Says:

    The boards we just bought a couple of months ago are teal, but the “UNO” marking is on a white rectangle on both the front and the back of the boards, rather than a white oval as shown above. Also, there’s no large white area on the back, and no image of Italy anywhere I can see. Under the power connector on the back of the board, it says, “UNO TM Rev3E” The component near the voltage regulator next to the USB jack is gold and black, but has an “infinity” symbol “8” on it in gold, rather than as shown on the “how to spot a counterfeit” page. So, do we have genuine parts, or not? I also have some Nanos I’m wondering about, bought at the same time. They seem to only want to program as “UNOs” from the IDE, but I don’t see any “how to spot” chart for Nanos or other boards.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in with your Arduino account to post a comment.