Questions tagged [legal]

Questions regarding Legal issues in Electronics, like licensing, government regulations, certification, copyrights, and patents.

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Compliance of user replaceable lithium cells?

I seem to remember that in the EU, lithium cells may not be sold to consumers and may not be user-replaceable in consumer devices. This vague idea seems to be supported by the fact that I cannot ...
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0answers
20 views

Labeling requirements for equipment using off-the-shelf 900 MHz ISM radio

Can anyone tell me or point me to an authoritative reference as to what external labeling is required for an industrial product that uses an off-the-shelf 900 MHz ISM band radio? I understand that ...
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3answers
72 views

Regulatory considerations for 500W, 400V DC power tether

I'm working on a robotics project where we intend to deliver ~500W of power over a 1000 ft tether. The current plan is to run ~400VDC down the tether on a pair of 16 AWG wires. These power wires will ...
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1answer
78 views

USB usage restrictions

I find it quite hard to find any information on how to deal with legal issues concerning the use of USB online. I mainly have two question I cannot seem to find a definitive answer to. Is it required ...
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2answers
63 views

IoT Certification Legality

I am developing an IoT product for a company. The product runs off of two alkaline batteries at a max of 3.2V. It is fully enclosed in a solid plastic case, with small panel openings for a switch and ...
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2answers
213 views

Is USB Vendor ID needed to sell custom USB-hub based on IC?

I'm about to make a hobby project - build custom USB hub fitting required physical/package dimensions and port positions. The main IC would be TI TUSB4041I, which is is 4-port 2.0 USB HUB (I don't ...
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4answers
199 views

Is using product circuit within my product legal?

I'm building a smart plug and I want a circuit to convert from 220vac to 5vdc so I'm using a charger circuit (image source) to deliver the 5vdc I need for the wifi module as it is with no changes ...
13
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1answer
1k views

Legal obligations when designing electronics

I'm planning on releasing a USB powered device, basically a AVR ATMega2560 µC with a FTDI FT232RL chip powered by USB-C. Although I'm comfortable with the safety of the device (has fuses, ferrite ...
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1answer
153 views

Registering IOT products across Europe based on NodeMCU

We've been designing some smart home devices and softwares in past few years and they've been sold in some countries in middle-east. Basically, they were combination of ESP, Arduino and NodeMCU boards ...
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2answers
941 views

Cuk topology patent

While searching for a good inverting SMPS topology, I stumbled across the Cuk topology which suits me perfectly by all means. The only thing that worries me is that unlike more common SMPS topologies, ...
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4answers
236 views

Does this appliance break UK safety laws?

Good evening. I recently purchased this active suction SMD pick-up tool from AliExpress: When it arrived, it seemed to work fine. However, when I opened it up (to investigate the feasibility of ...
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3answers
2k views

Is a valid USB VID/PID necessary for strictly embedded use of the Bus?

So the system of USB VID/PIDs as far as I understand it is to avoid conflicts between devices and the USB-IF is handling the distribution of these IDs and wants a fee if you need a VID and a ...
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144 views

Is it legal to design an open source AHB master?

Is it legal for open source cores to be compatible with the AMBA specification?
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3answers
3k views

CAN Bus Licensing

Looking around for possible solutions for long distance communication between multiple microcontrollers I found the CAN bus. However, it says that there is a licensing fee for any implementation of ...
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3answers
638 views

How often does EMC certification have to be repeated (especially in Australia)?

I realise that this may be largely legal in nature and may be off topic, but I think that the users of this site are most likely to be able to answer accurately, so I shall ask and risk being shot ...
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1answer
257 views

Is it legal to use a device's Bluetooth serial commands in one's project?

I'm currently making an android application that reads data from an hydrometer that sends it via Bluetooth serial. But when I connect to it, it doesn't send anything, probably expecting control ...
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1answer
337 views

Can I use the Omron G6RN relay where reinforced insulation is needed beetween coil input and switched circuit?

I want to use a relay to control 230V power to an electric motor. I'm considering using the Omron G6RN relay: http://datasheet.octopart.com/G6RN-1-DC24-Omron-datasheet-10910301.pdf According to the ...
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2answers
440 views

Why is only MOV allowed for surge suppression according to IEC 60950-1

IEC 60950-1 prescribes that if a surge suppressor is used in a primary circuit it "shall be a VDR". The document informs that a VDR is sometimes referred to as a "varistor or a metal oxide varistor (...
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2answers
60 views

Where can the detailed requirements for EU Low Voltage Directive compliance be found?

I'm designing an appliance that probably has to comply with the European Low Voltage Directive. I've been searching for a guide on how to design a product complying with this directive, but I haven't ...
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3answers
170 views

Can I share source code/software from Microchip through my website?

I've done some projects including bootloader for PIC microcontrollers. But all these are done by modifying official microchip codes. Also want to share official drivers and softwares. I want to share ...
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2answers
2k views

Kickstarter electronics and local regulations

There are some electronics projects on Kickstarter. For being successfull, they offer buying the product worldwide. I wonder how they are able to comply with all the local regulations, for example CE,...
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4answers
248 views

What's an industry standard in electrical engineering?

Context: One of my colleague is arguing I can't use one of my baseline equipment for a long lifetime (15years) product because it is not an "industry standard" and might become obsolete and ...
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1answer
188 views

How appropriate are the open source licences currently in use for inclusion of HDL cores in a commercial product?

HDL IP cores targeted towards ASICs, FPGAs or both are often very useful for adding functionality to a project quickly. Commercially licences cores are available from many sources for a range of ...
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2answers
27k views

Can Arduino be used in commercial products?

Is it legal for me to sell a product that's built with an Arduino? I know that it's open source, but does that mean I can sell my product for profit, or only for use in prototyping?
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2answers
449 views

What make now that I have implemented a working prototype of my system?

I developed code for an Arduino board (Arduino Uno + Ethernet Shield and some sensor) and I am thinking to try to make some money by selling the resulting system. Is it legally possible make that with ...
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2answers
154 views

Inspection/QA Criteria for Selling Electronics?

I'm a software developer who has recently taken up a penchant for home electronics and personal robotics. I'd like to start building a prototype for a small device that I would sell though a website, ...
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1answer
287 views

Is this LED fixture safe for use with its current fabrication?

My father is currently interested in investing into a Ukrainian LED fixture manufacturer, and after he bought home a sample, I'm scared. There are 94 LEDs paired up with diodes, all in series, ...
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2answers
1k views

Intel x86 and patent implications

It's been a long time since x86 was introduced (80386 for example was manufactured 27 years ago... Oh god I am old), so I wonder, what is stopping 3rd party companies from manufacturing x86-compatible ...
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2answers
11k views

FCC part 15 “must accept interference from other sources”: what does this mean?

I've googled around a bit and here are the interpretations I've found in non-authoritative sources: that the device is unable to filter out interference caused by other certified equipment that if ...
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4answers
223 views

Deciphering Portable Appliance Test results

All UK companies are required to perform yearly tests of all portable appliances used in the office, redundantly called "PAT tests". I've recently received my first test result sheet, and while all ...
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6answers
818 views

Legality of Reverse Engineering

If there was a "law/legal" stack exchange site I'd post it there, but it's in its infant stages in Area 51. I'm a musician and an electrical engineering student. I've designed a modification to the ...
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4answers
1k views

Legality of using HDMI connectors in non-HDMI product

I'm developing a product which needs an external 100ohm 100mbps LVDS connector. HDMI connectors would be perfect, especially because we could take advantage of the availability of cheap HDMI cables. ...
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1answer
3k views

Is there any reason for an electronics engineer to go for a professional engineering (PE) license?

Is there any reason for an electronics engineer to go for a professional engineering (PE) license? My understanding is that becoming a PE is only useful/necessary for architectural electrical ...
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2answers
772 views

Avoiding copyright violations when writing header files

Many manufacturers apply licenses to the header files they publish for their products. These files usually consist of a long list of #defines which are a correlation between the names and adjacent ...
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1answer
3k views

What certification is needed for electronic devices in Europe?

I am going to be selling my project, Super OSD. It has a 3 MHz SMPS PSU and an 8 MHz crystal oscillator, but is not intended to emit radio signals. Will it be necessary to get testing to sell in ...
6
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3answers
953 views

Copying evaluation board PCB layouts

On the one hand, PCB layouts are considered copyrighted information, and copying them verbatim is a bad idea for legal reasons. On the other hand, the PCB layout of an evaluation board is pretty much ...
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6answers
477 views

Creative Commons for physical objects?

Does anyone know if it is possible to file physical objects under creative commons or something similar? I don't want to make money off anything I make, I want to show the public how to make it and ...
27
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4answers
1k views

Best licenses for Open Hardware

Can anyone give me a rundown of the various licenses that are well-suited to open hardware? I've designed a few circuit boards and would like to make them available for others to use, so I need to ...