Chris Baxter, 2011 Anthill 30under30 Honourable Mention

Chris Baxter, 2011 Anthill 30under30 Honourable Mention

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Chris Baxter, NSW (b. 1981)

Name: Chris Baxter
Gender: Male
State: NSW

There’s something liberating about being a self-described nerd. Chris Baxter is comfortable with the label, especially since it falls easily alongside his bigger, more powerful moniker — international patent law attorney.

Baxter says he started his patent-law firm, Baxter IP, because he wanted SMEs and entrepreneurs to have the same access to protection of intellectual property that big R&D companies do. Founded in 2007 with his own savings, Baxter IP has a staff of 15 and a turnover of about $1.2 million.

Baxter has been relentless in marketing his firm, using resources online and elsewhere to let small businesses know he is there to help, trying things his competitors wouldn’t. Example: Baxter IP offered pre-filing patent searches at no charge, while others charged a fee (and understandably so, Baxter says, because the search isn’t cost-effective and carries liability issues).

Why buck the trend? “From surveying clients, we found out that’s exactly what they wanted. While profit lagged for a time, we grew the business exponentially.”

Other innovations: Baxter says his was the first patent attorney firm to offer a full suite of commercialisation services; to provide all services to local clients at a fixed cost; to adopt a fully electronic filing system; and to be certified as carbon-neutral.

“The sales pitch becomes much easier when clients are pre-sold by your marketing,” he says.

Baxter also is a serial entrepreneur — he is a partner in Biometic, a medical product company. Busy guy.

“Truthfully, going to work each day is exciting,” he says. “There is always something new happening here — new technologies, new businesses, new clients, new systems and procedures, new marketing strategies. I wouldn’t really want to be doing anything else.”

Anthill asks: Chris Baxter, what motivates you as an entrepreneur?

“Frankly, it’s fun. When I was young I loved board games and computer games (don’t get much time for them these days). It’s amazing the analogies between real-time strategy computer games — where you need to manage resources and offensive and defensive strategies — and a young business competing with the big boys.”

Baxter IP: How to secure a license

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