Nothing rings in the holidays like a certified letter from lawyers it seems – we received a letter from lawyers apparently representing Velleman (they are a long time kit maker that many of us have fond memories of). Walker Law Firm sent us this letter (part 1, part 2, part 3) stating that we:
“…utilized a circle with a slash superimposed over a picture of an electronic blinking Christmas tree which is a product offer by Velleman Components NV and it’s subsidiary entities”.
They were referring to the Adafruit promise which states that we do not sell blinking Christmas tree kits. This is our promise: No blinking christmas tree kits. We were confused by their assertion that our promise infringes on Velleman since we state unequivocally that we do not sell any “blinking Christmas trees” and we make it clear so no one is ever confused.
So, in the letter they requested that we remove the picture of the blinking Christmas tree from Velleman, we decided to consult with a lawyer before we did anything.
Don’t worry, the promise still stands, we do not sell blinking Christmas tree kits and we will still have a blinking Christmas tree representing this promise, you can see above and on the promise page. We would like to thank the law firm of Turner Boyd LLP and the EFF for helping us out with this matter. Here is our response.
We will not let this event ruin our festive spirit, or our promise to bring you the best kits that are open source, high-quality, modern and relevant to today’s electronic pro & hobbyist at the best value (just not Christmas tree kits, remember that) – with all that being said, we do have some exciting blinking Christmas tree news we’d like to share.
First up, our pals at SparkFun just released a blinky Christmas tree kit. Schematics and PCB files. Looks like it’s an open source through-hole kit, nice!
Secondly, Michael writes in…
Here are more photos from Michael!
Our pal Vincent from ESKI Studios sent us this wonderful SMT blinking Christmas tree card.
And lastly, if you haven’t already check out the religious section of the Open Source Hardware guide and check out Ian’s open source hardware blinking Christmas tree and ornament. It’s a hackable Christmas tree, made with an ATtiny13A and a few LEDs.
If you have any blinking Christmas tree needs, all of these folks are you point persons. Remember, we do not sell them.