If they think those meters are actually going to dilute their brand (hint: they really aren't), then make the importation license require Sparkfun to rework the meters domestically before distributing them.
It's very classy of them to make Sparkfun whole.
Also, does anyone have tips on how to get the smell out after accidentally using an overripe banana to "test" my breaker panel? I thought checking the color would be sufficiently safe :/
Not being able to distinguish the difference between copying multiple distinctive elements of trade dress (yellow back AND yellow front border AND uniform grey front) and inadvertently using a particular color anywhere on the product is really quite an amazing feat.
FWIW, there's only two "elements" (the back and border are one piece), and their distinctiveness is specified in terms of basic colors one learns in elementary school.
The ability to monopolize a general two-tone color scheme on a durable tool that someone may use every day is outright ridiculous.
There are all sorts of ways to make a yellow and grey multimeter that don't infringe on Fluke's trade dress. Fluke isn't monopolizing a general two-tone color scheme: They are monopolizing a specific arrangement of two colors, and that is an eminently reasonable thing to do.
This is a little like arguing "Well, copyright shouldn't exist because you shouldn't get a monopoly on just some general words." But that's a strawman--you can only obtain a copyright on a specific arrangement of general words.
The problem with meeting CAT ratings is transient voltage spikes- I don't recall exact numbers, but some for some of the higher CAT ratings multimeters are required to withstand (meaning continue to operate, or fail in a safe way, with no harm to operator) several kilo-volts.
Cheaper multimeters just literally blow up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-FZP1U2dkM
Not that I'd like the CPSC anywhere near electronics, either. But given the amount of QA those meters probably (don't) receive and their intended market, Sparkfun should be responsible and either post their ongoing testing process, or probably just drop the rated voltage to 100V.
The argument about trademark needs to stand on its own, without the argument that the current owners of a trademark are going some safety critical job.