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A $30K Fluke in SparkFun's Imports
3/24/2014

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SparkFun's Generic Multimeter
SparkFun's Generic Multimeter

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bobdvb
User Rank
Manager
Fair cop
bobdvb   3/28/2014 6:59:17 AM
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I think it is a grey (and yellow) area!

The products aren't exact clones but their are quite similar and could be more different. However I suspect the copy meter wasn't designed by SparkFun, they probably bought it from a Chinese vendor who was probably influenced by Fluke (cultrually this is very common in the region). Additionally although it does have the Sparkfun logo I would suspect the plastics are generic, so SparkFun may have had no choice in the colours?

In one company I know the customer wanted a particular configuration of cable, so they gave a sample, it was sent it to a Chinese vendor and they were asked to provide something similar, the sample they sent back was virtually identical down to the logo of the original manufacturer of the customers sample!

HardwIntr
User Rank
Freelancer
not only the color
HardwIntr   3/25/2014 5:16:19 AM
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in addition to the color, they have the same sticker behind with the mention "Made in China". So, why am i denied to buy the cheaper One so i can cut all the middlemen? Only Fluke and others can buy in China and charge a premium?

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Re: A DMM of a different color...
betajet   3/24/2014 6:44:26 PM
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jimbo suggests "Sparkfun Red"

But then it might look like the US$5.49 Cen-Tech multimeter from Harbor Freight.  They probably wouldn't sue, but I don't think Sparkfun wants their product mistaken for the Cen-Tech :-)

Caleb Kraft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Later news
Caleb Kraft   3/24/2014 4:59:57 PM
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Whoa! awesome move on Fluke's part. They deserve a follow up story on that!

TonyTib
User Rank
CEO
Re: Later news
TonyTib   3/24/2014 4:54:46 PM
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I'll have to side with Fluke on this one; a more specific term for what Fluke is protecting is trade dress.  Also, some IP (such as trademarks IIRC) has to consistently enforced, or you will loose it.

There's a reason Agilent (Keysight) DMM's have blue boots...

Caleb Kraft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: A DMM of a different color...
Caleb Kraft   3/24/2014 4:54:24 PM
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That would probably be a wise move or them, but doesn't help with the stock that was confiscated.

jimbo54
User Rank
Rookie
A DMM of a different color...
jimbo54   3/24/2014 4:42:13 PM
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I read both Sparkfun's rant and Fluke's response to them. Maybe I'm off-base here, but since Sparkfun uses a lot of red in their packaging and in their products , why not change the yellow case of their DMM to "Sparkfun Red"? Or am I missing something?

betajet
User Rank
CEO
Later news
betajet   3/24/2014 3:09:59 PM
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FYI, here is a March 20th post at Sparkfun with later news: Fluke Responds to Trademark Problems.

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