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March 19, 2014
News - Fluke, we love you but yo…
about 5 years ago
You've really got three problems, the way I see it.
One, to the average Joe on the street, the meter really does look like a Fluke meter. The whole point of them not specifying a pantone color in the trademark is that would free people to just go one shade off and say "not the same color". Now, of course this all would have been made much easier if customs had caught your FIRST shipment, which I assume was much smaller. Companies have to protect their brand though.
Two, is your meter really rated to the level it claims? If I got one and tried to diagnose what was wrong with my drier, would it work or would it potentially catch my house on fire? If it can't handle the 600V the labeling claims you have a huge problem. (For that matter, Fluke would have a problem when the TV news shows a melted yellow multimeter and says "here's the source of the fire!")
The third one is the one that really bothers me though. You found out about this problem 12 DAYS AGO! That's almost two weeks! Did anyone from Sparkfun get on the phone with someone at Fluke to talk about the issue? They give away tens of thousands of dollars of gear every year to schools... maybe you could have gotten a pallet of Fluke meters out of the deal to donate to maker labs everywhere. It could have been a friendly low-key discussion between sane, reasonable, people. The way Sparkfun is acting now, you're trying to be bullies. Whether you like trademarks or not, the $15 meter violates them. Getting everyone on this blog, Facebook, twitter, and reddit to complain loudly doesn't help fix the system. It makes you a bully and puts you in the same camp as the global warming deniers. Saying something over and over again doesn't make it true.
So yeah, trademarks suck, but shame on you SparkFun for how you're dealing with it.
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