Project Zero offers an
anti-counterfeit solution
for Arduino’s many markets

"Project Zero offers results very fast. It is an instant tool."

Sara Therner
Trademark & Licensing Manager, Arduino

Inspiring a movement

Arduino is known across the world for their open-source electronics platform, built on the idea of allowing creators to pair easy-to-use hardware and software. Powering the creation of everything from household devices to highly specialised scientific equipment, Arduino has generated a loyal following of students, hobbyists, artists, programmers, and professionals alike.

Since 2003, Arduino has helped innovative tinkerers bring their creations to life, with a range of single-board microcontrollers and microcontroller kits that allow anyone to access simple, low-cost options for creating digital projects. They have been so successful that they have inspired a global movement of makers, with vibrant communities built around developing and sharing Arduino’s open-source hardware and software.

“Originally, we were focused on products for design students or educational purposes, but we have grown so much since then. Now our products are widely used in professional settings, too.”

However, Arduino’s global scale also made it difficult for them to effectively monitor for counterfeits.

“Counterfeits are a big issue for us. We are well known and you can find our products, and counterfeits of them, in almost every country of the world.”

Open source, not open season

Arduino operates under an open-source model, which means the source code for their software and the designs for its hardware are available for free and can be modified and redistributed at will. It is this philosophy that has led Arduino to become such a huge player in the world of interactive electronics, enabling the creation of almost anything imaginable – from water quality monitoring systems and LED controllers to musical instruments and digital chess boards.

The Arduino software and hardware are intellectual property developed as the result of endless prototyping, research, and development. The profits Arduino makes on its board sales directly fund this expensive work. While the open source licensing allows users to modify software and hardware designs to create whatever they desire, the Arduino name can not be used to sell such derived or copied products as if they were original.

“When you pay for a genuine Arduino product, you are not just paying for the board. You are paying for everything that comes behind it. When you buy a counterfeit, you are not paying for past or future work.”

Counterfeits not only threaten to undercut this investment but also damage Arduino’s credibility and brand reputation, which the company has built up through years of supporting its open-source community.

“Our tech support often receives emails from people with bad quality, faulty products, and we have to tell them that they have purchased a counterfeit and it is impossible to troubleshoot. It is confusing for them and challenging for us to deal with.”

In fact, counterfeit boards led Arduino to begin a “test buy” programme, in which they would purchase items from various websites and stores to pinpoint counterfeit issues. Ultimately, this process proved time-consuming, expensive, and was largely reactive.

Instant brand protection

Initially, Arduino leveraged Amazon Brand Registry, using the Report a Violation tool to search for and report infringements on their registered trademarks that could then be removed after investigation by Amazon. But when they heard about Project Zero and its immediate self-service counterfeit removal function, they quickly enrolled and started training their team on the programme policies and the correct usage of the tool.

“Every minute that a counterfeit listing is live affects us, both in terms of money and brand reputation, so being able to respond quickly is so important. With Project Zero, we simply choose the trademark, click, and the listing is closed.”

The speed of Project Zero allowed Arduino to identify and remove counterfeit listings faster than ever before.

For Arduino and their customers, the benefits were clear: fewer counterfeits and higher legitimate sales.
LOCATION
Italy
INDUSTRY
Computers & Accessories
AMAZON LAUNCH
2017
BRAND PROTECTION TOOLS
Amazon Brand Registry

Amazon Project Zero
Project Zero proved to be an amazing tool, becoming a core part of Arduino’s structured trademark protection strategy. It has generated multiple positive effects for our global community and for our business.
Sara ThernerTrademark & Licensing Manager, Arduino

Improved growth and trust with Project Zero

Project Zero had an immediate effect on how Arduino tackled counterfeiters across every market they operate in and the protection they offered their customers. It gave them the confidence to venture into several large markets that they previously were struggling to break into, such as India, Mexico, Turkey, and more.

“Other than the obvious removal of counterfeit products, since we started using Project Zero, we have seen an increase in trust that ultimately led to a material growth of our own sales on Amazon.”

Many times, the sellers offering counterfeit products were doing so unknowingly. Arduino was able to increase awareness and educate sellers on how to stock and sell genuine Arduino products.

“The entire Arduino ecosystem is built on the values of open source, and a key ingredient to nurture and grow our global community is trust. Project Zero proved to be an amazing tool, becoming a core part of Arduino’s structured trademark protection strategy. It has generated multiple positive effects for our global community and for our business.”

Get started today with Project Zero

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