This post by Chua Sher Hann is the first-ever guest-post on The Malaysian Lawyer.
The last few years saw a proliferation of startups in Malaysia. You can eat your Dah Makan lunchbox, then GrabCar to your KFit class decked in your Ash Be Nimble active wear. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or the founder of a fresh startup, you must be extremely careful when navigating the intellectual property minefield, and not overlook the importance of securing the intellectual property rights of your business.
Unless you’re someone like Jeffri Cheong of Kaodim (who was an intellectual property lawyer prior to co-founding the services platform which recently raised USD 4 million in its Series A round) and already have a solid understanding and knowledge of intellectual property, please read on.
Here are five common intellectual property mistakes that startup founders make.
Having discussed in the above posts some principles which startups and small businesses should bear in mind when dealing with legal documentation, this post will address some of the more common contractual landmines — practical tips on some specific terms and conditions to look out for.
Template and automated legal documents are increasing in popularity.
For years there have been many websites offering standard contracts for download. Most of these have a US/European law focus, but the past couple of years have seen some similar services launched in Asia.
Some of these websites offer a very comprehensive collection of legal documents which address the needs of startups and small businesses in particular — everything from NDAs to equity investment agreements are available for download, usually with a fee.
My cover slide for this part of the workshop reads: “Be very very very very careful when using standard contracts” — I’m not sure whether I should have added a few more ‘very’s to statement.
Business owners should be extremely cautious when using these legal documents.