Meet Dr. John Baxter, Commercial Counsel

“Upholding the highest standard of business ethics and ensuring our advice always serves the best interests of our clients. This is our guiding principle and our legacy.”

– Dr. John Baxter, Commercial Counsel

John Baxter is one of Australia’s leading authorities on IP licensing and commercialisation. With a career spanning more than 35 years, John arrived at Baxter IP in 2009 as a consultant, bringing valuable insight and ingenuity, particularly in the areas of commercialisation, patent claim structuring and licence agreements to maximize the commercial value of IP.

In 1977, John got his first break working for the eminent Australian inventor and automotive engineer, Arthur Bishop, while completing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at UNSW specialising in non-linear control theory and vehicle dynamics. After completing his PhD studies John progressed in Bishop’s invention and IP commercialisation business as it grew, and the business was incorporated in 1985. At Bishop John managed teams in the company’s research and development arm, overseeing projects in IC engines, vehicle dynamics, vehicle motorsport steering, automotive hydraulic power steering, advanced sensors and electric power steering.

In addition to this role, John was also responsible for what was, at the time at least, one of the largest intellectual property portfolios in Australia, negotiating license agreements worth up to $30 million, as well as overseeing the filing, prosecution, writing, IP litigation and maintenance of more than 350 patents and patent applications.
John has authored and co-authored a prolific body of technical papers on automotive steering and the related field of vehicle dynamics. But it is the hand he played in inventing and co-inventing many of Bishop’s international patent families, including those around variable ratio power steering, that has truly made him a leader in the world of IP licensing and commercialisation.

John has long been an active figure in the Australian IP and engineering landscape. From 1994 – 2000, he was a member of the Australian Government’s Advisory Council on Industrial Property (ACIP) for IP Australia. Since 2004, John has been a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee for the Faculty of Engineering at UNSW. John is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE), of Engineers Australia, and of the Society of Automotive Engineers Australasia (SAE-A). Most recently, he contributed as a member of the ATSE Energy Forum, where he assisted with the organisation’s submission to the Australian Government’s Energy White Paper in 2014. He was also part of the organising committee for the ATSE’s “Intelligent Grids” Symposium in Sydney in 2015, ATSE’s “Beyond Coal – What Will Power NSW” Symposium in Sydney in 2016 and ATSE’s “The National Electricity Market After the Finkel Review” Symposium in Sydney in 2017.

Always looking to the future, John’s recent passions in engineering include the evolution of electric vehicles and the associated architectural requirements of the electricity grid.