CEO Series

If You're Kiasu And Scared Of Copycats, You'll Probably Need This M'sian Startup

  • Lymesol is a law startup that focuses on the safeguarding of intellectual properties (IPs), where they help clients register trademarks, patents, copyrights, and other similar assets while also providing graphic design solutions.
  • The company was founded in 2016 by law graduate April Lim and graphic designer Gerald Cheong.

A good idea is always susceptible to imitation. Just looking at the number of lawsuits filed over the past decade, especially in the field of tech and IT, and it’s pretty apparent that if an idea can make you money, someone will attempt to copy it.

Hoping to help reduce the number of such problematic disputes, April Lim, a law graduate specialising in intellectual property (IP), and Gerald Cheong, a graphic design and multimedia major, came together in 2016 and founded Lymesol—a boutique service that focuses on helping clients secure their IPs—namely trademarks, patents, copyrights, and the like. The name Lymesol comes from a merging of the words ‘limelight’ and ‘solution’.

“IP protection is very important as it tells people about the brand,” they explained. “And besides being an identifier, a strong brand also instils trust in the consumer.”

“For example, would you buy a Nike or a ‘Niki’? Or would you consumer Panadol or ‘Ah Leng’s’ paracetamol?” they quizzed.

“It’s important because you wouldn’t want to have spent a great deal of money and countless hours building a brand only to have someone else copy it.”

Additionally, Lymesol also gives the added benefit of providing graphic design services for those who require it.

From Idea To Product

According to the April and Gerald, they figured that both IPs and graphic design go hand-in-hand, and it would better serve them to merge both their fields of expertise and create a one-stop solution for those seeking to safeguard and turn their ideas into something more tangible.

All these also includes the creation of logos and websites.

“By offering both IP protection and graphic design, we take away the headache of having to search for separate vendors,” they explained. “And another perk of this is that it greatly reduces the risk of your trademark application getting rejected.”

What they mean by this is that with both the idea and trademark design put in the hands of the same team, the danger of infringing upon other prior registered trademarks can be lessened significantly.

The Lymesol team at one of their idea dissemination events with other startup founders. / Image Credit: Lymesol

“After receiving the initial brief from the client, Lymesol will then brainstorm ideas and concepts based on the client’s requirements,” the team said, explaining the ideation process. “This brainstorming session will also take into account trademarks that have already been registered and that might affect the client’s application.”

So far, Lymesol have seen a steady success rate in regards to IP registrations—they maintain a 100 percent record for their design and registration combo, and also have so far received zero disputes from third parties and very few failed trademark registration cases.

This has given Lymesol the impetus it needs to go further and explore more avenues through which they can grow their business.

“We’re launching our e-commerce website very soon. Clients can engage our services and make payments online while enjoying the same quality of services via the internet,” they said. “Other than financially growing the company, we’ve also got pro-bono projects ongoing for NGOs.”

“Also, another plan in the pipeline is a marketplace for IPs where you can buy and sell registered or unregistered IPs.”

Your Idea’s Safe With Us

For now, the main aim for Lymesol is to change the mistaken belief that IP safeguarding is expensive, inaccessible, and only available to big money-level ideas, and they want to do achieve this by making their brand as approachable as can be.

“We want to change this misconception, as we believe IPs are valuable and inexpensive intangible properties that will add value to any business,” April and Gerald said.

“This is why Lymesol has a more casual approach—don’t be surprised when you see us in T-shirts and jeans or khakis,” they added. “We believe that this casual approach makes it less intimidating for our clients.”

“Consumers shouldn’t be afraid of getting into IP protection just because it’s law-related.”

Image Credit: Lymesol

This same viewpoint shared by many businesses also translates into the problem of entrepreneurs not placing IP protection high on their list of things to do, and therefore also thinking that the field of IP protection isn’t—strictly speaking—an important or legitimate one.

“Protecting intellectual property is hardly ever on the priority list,” they said. “In our line of work, it’s common to hear ‘My brand isn’t big or popular, why would anyone want to copy it?’”

“While it’s true that you’ll get more attention once your brand is big or famous, it doesn’t mean that your brand is safe just because it’s small or not well-known.”

The Future Secured

In the face of these challenges, Gerald and April admit that it was down to them to prove themselves as more than just an afterthought in the grand scheme of any business strategy.

“We need to go the extra mile to prove that we’re equally as good as any other lawyer,” they stated. “We are actively disseminating IP protection at the academic level, as there is a need to incept its importance into minds at the earliest stage possible.”

“Gone are the days where every fresh graduate must work for someone,” they added. “It’s not uncommon for fresh graduates to be business owners, and we want to ensure that these individuals start off on the right foot.”

“That’s why we’re focusing a lot on the startup scene—you never know if your idea will be the next ‘unicorn’, and it’s best to have your IP secured before it becomes one.”

Feature Image Credit: Lymesol

 

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