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If I want to make an Arduino derivative product based on the Arduino UNO design, and I make no modifications to the firmware loaded on the ATMega8u2 usb chip, do I still have to go off and buy my own VID/PID from USB-IF?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, can you explain your question a little more? \$\endgroup\$ – NickHalden Jul 11 '11 at 18:05
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(i) It is generally agreed that you have to buy your own VID/PIC licence at a cost of about $2000 AND they are unlikely to take your $2000 unless you can prove that you are substantially real :-(. See references at end.

(ii) BUT - you appear to be legally allowed to buy VID/PID pairs from legitimate owners under some circumstances. What the conditions are would need to be determined from the licence. See iii

(iii) I am aware that a member of this forum owns a VID/PID licence and has sold VID/PID pairs to enthusiasts. I won't say who they are to prevent possible deluging but will bring this post to their attention. They can speak if they wish.


  1. Gilberti industries discussion October 2010 [1] = No

  2. Official answer here, 6th post down, is not encouraging. October 2010. Essentially - "we are not ALLOWED to give them away but are negotiating to be allowed to do so for use on a non commercial basis" = No in your case. [2]

  3. Lady Ada wiki. No. [3]

Things may have changed since late 2010, but it seems unlikely. This is a grave impediment [tm] to any would be roll your own USB designs aimed at small scale production. $2000 is "not a lot of money" once you get into the 1000 - 10,000 production range but below that it starts to be noticeable.

[1] http://www.gilberti-industries.com/2010/10/02/arduino-uno-and-its-usb/

[2] http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1285500728/180

[3] http://wiki.ladyada.net/arduino/unofaqV

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  • \$\begingroup\$ interesting... the thing is, I'm actually not sure it would even work as an Arduino from the IDE perspective unless it was publishing the exact same PID/VID... \$\endgroup\$ – vicatcu Jul 11 '11 at 17:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ "legally allowed" makes it sounds like you'll be fined by the government if you use VIDs in a product without the approval of USB-IF. As far as I know, the only consequences of not following their rules are 1. You can't put their official logos on your product 2. VID collisions with other products/incompatibility. USB-IF can't throw you in jail, they can only sue you for trademark infringement if you use their logos or claim to be USB-IF approved, when you're not. \$\endgroup\$ – endolith Jul 11 '11 at 19:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not up to date with the very latest in US copyright law but in some areas it's getting pretty horrific. Whether DMCA can be bent to cover this I don't know, but if so it may well effectively be the government who is on your case. I'm in New Zealand where we have our own perms and coms on copyright issues - not necessarily much more friendly than in the US. In either administration, I'd imagine that selling a product that clearly ran foul of the IP rights of a large essentially "white hat" organisation may be something that didn't help your business case(except with some customers:-)). \$\endgroup\$ – Russell McMahon Jul 11 '11 at 20:41

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