NeuroTinker (R), still (and forever) OSHW

A project log for NeuroBytes

Build your own nervous system!

zakqwyzakqwy 06/18/2016 at 14:330 Comments

We just received notification from the USPTO that our trademark submission has been accepted and published in the latest Trademark Official Gazette!

So yeah. That means the NeuroTinker logo is a registered trademark, so we get to use the little circle R icon:

Getting our logo trademarked protects the NeuroTinker brand. It's an important step towards building our business, and it's the same path followed by other open-source educational hardware companies including Arduino, littleBits, and others. Importantly, it means that other organizations can't sell products that include the NeuroTinker logo without our explicit permission.

Okay all of that is boring. I'm putting up this post to talk about what the trademark doesn't mean--in particular, it doesn't affect our commitment to OSH.

NeuroTinker is committed to open-source hardware. We literally wouldn't exist without OSHW (and, for that matter). Our products, including NeuroBytes (incidentally, our only product at this point in time), will always be released under a share-alike open-source license that complies with the guidelines established by the Open Source Hardware Association. That means making every effort to thoroughly document the project, supporting community-driven development endeavors, releasing broadly compatible design files in a timely manner, and so forth (read the whole document, it's filled with a lot of good stuff).

Things get a bit complicated because our latest NeuroBytes hardware iterations use our logo as part of the circuit; in particular, the neuron symbol acts as a ground plane and the gear at the center of the cell highlights the indicator LED. Generally, that means anyone interested in building NeuroBytes based explicitly off our board design would need to modify this portion of the layout prior to selling them commercially. I don't believe this will be an issue, but if you feel otherwise please let me know in the comments.