Intellectual Property

Soylent Says Won't Sue Copycat Meal Replacement 'Schmoylent'

Soylent Says Won't Sue Copycat Meal Replacement 'Schmoylent'
Image credit: Soylent
Soylent meal replacement
2 min read

Tired of waiting for two to three months for the suddenly uber-popular liquid meal replacement Soylent? Order Schmoylent!

No, that's not a typo. Schmoylent is a surprisingly direct knockoff of Soylent. The only major changes between the powdered meal replacement mixes are substituting rice protein instead of artificial vanillin and an extra "chm" in the name. Plus, instead of waiting for months for your powder to arrive and your need for actual food to end, you only have to wait one to three weeks for delivery. 

The creator of the knockoff even reached out to Rob Rhinehart, creator of Soylent, to ask for his blessings for the product, reports Valleywag. Rhinehart responded that he would love if Soylent was able to meet the high demand so knockoffs were not necessary. However, he wouldn't stand in Schmoylent's way.

Related: How Food Makers Are Convincing America to Eat Bugs

"I won't stop you from selling 'Schmoylent' on legal grounds, but I must caution you it is unwise to enter in to direct competition with us," Rhinehart wrote in response to the Schmoylent query in one of Soylent's online "fireside chats."

While most food companies and restaurants treat recipes as guarded secrets, Soylent links to a website dedicated to DIY Soylent. The site provides a community for individuals not affiliated with Soylent to tinker with recipes for "lower-case letter 'soylent,'" or singular sources of food that can provide complete nutrition. Soylent the product and company, or "capital-letter 'Soylent,'" encourages this tinkering in the spirit of open source data.

Schmoylent creator Custom Body Fuel is an advocate of these customized, DIY soylent options. In addition to Schmoylent, the website sells personalized drink powders and will also design custom blends based on customer's unique dietary needs.  

Related: Why Entrepreneurs Are Jumping on the Drinkable Meal Bandwagon

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How to Protect Your Intellectual Property