Do you have an invention?

Get help writing patent applications, specifications, and claims for your inventions

US Patent Agent
& Professional Engineer

Guy Letourneau PE

"That Patent Guy"®
"the patent guy"
I am a US Patent Agent and mechanical engineer. I have over 30 years of experience in mechanical engineering including writing over two dozen patents, applications, and invention disclosures myself before passing the US Patent Bar Exam. As a Patent Agent, I can save you thousands of dollars in the cost of getting your invention patented! Patent Agents are less expensive than Patent Attorneys! What is the difference between a Patent Agent and a Patent Attorney?

Work with a Patent expert

Helping Startups
I work with small and medium-size businesses, family businesses, start-ups, and solo inventors
Save You Money
I can help you avoid common “invention-promotion” scams and unnecessary expenses
Expert Advice
I offer a 2-hour, on-site presentation on the patent process and common dos and don’ts
Do it yourself
Yes, you can patent your invention yourself, and I can help you through the process

Patent Services

Patent agent services specializing in machinery and physical consumer products.
  • Electric power connectors and electronic interconnects
  • Gear-driven machinery and power transmissions
  • Boundary layer (bladeless) turbines and pumps
  • Mining, earth-moving, and dredging
  • Stamped and formed parts from metal and other sheet materials
  • Castings, injection molded parts, and insert molding
  • Additive materials and manufacturing
  • Firearms and defensive devices for civilians and law enforcement
  • Radio transmitters, equipment, and antennae
  • Mechanical or physical steganography
  • Mechanisms and machinery
  • Textiles and web handling machinery
  • Consumer Products:
    • Kitchen and culinary tools, cookware
    • Home maintenance & repair tools and kits
    • Electronic and mechanical toys
    • Apparel, accessories, luggage, clothing patterns, fabric designs*
    • Outdoor recreation, camping, and fishing accessories
    • Housewares and cleaning devices
    • Hand tools and power tools
    • Lawn and gardening inventions
  • Mechanical and industrial materials:
    • Metals and alloys, smelting and refining
    • Composite materials
    • Platings, selective plating, coatings, anodizing,
      and other surface treatments
  • Logging and agricultural machinery
  • Livestock tools, pet toys, and veterinary equipment

    * “Design” patents work differently than “utility” patents
  • Plants
  • Surgical Equipment
  • Polymerization chemistry
  • Semiconductor materials
  • Relativistic or Quantum Effects
  • Purely electronic inventions
  • Animation and Solid Modeling
  • Data and Message Encryption (physical devices)
  • Steganography (physical)
  • Topical balms, salves, skin creams, naturopathic products
  • Social Media
  • Software, Computer applications
  • Marijuana plants, or paraphernalia or accessories that can ONLY be used
    with marijunana and no other “smoking materials” or “plant matter”
  • Drugs, Medicines, Pharmaceuticals
  • Financial services, methods, or other intangible products
  • Complex chemistry, large molecules, enzymes, gene sequences
  • Biological / life forms
  • Covered Business Methods
  • Non-scientific “energy,” spiritism, animism, geomancy, astrology or
    articles used for these or other religious practices
    (these are generally NOT patent-eligible matter)

YOU are the inventor. YOU will always know more about your invention than I.

  • An idea can become an invention when it is “reduced to practice,” which means that you the inventor have figured out how to make the invention if it is a product or how to practice the invention if it is a method or a process. Although I can use my engineering experiences to glean details from you about your invention, I cannot finish an incomplete invention for you. I do not provide engineering or design services, and I do not fix your invention for you if it doesn’t work or if your customers don’t like it.

  • If aspects of your invention are still undergoing development or refinements and you need further design, engineering, or rapid prototyping services, I may be able to refer you to professionals within these industries. I cannot personally develop the product for you if it is just an idea in your head. While I may be able to suggest manufacturing methods based on my experience as a mechanical engineer in manufacturing, I do not create production documents, and I do not develop production tooling with you.
    However, it’s perfectly fine to begin patent filings by defining and claiming the portions of the invention of which you are certain, and then add additional protective filings as you continue to discover and define further details of your invention. Many consumer products are protected by a network of overlapping “continuation” and “continuation-in-part” filings and end up being covered by several concurrent patent numbers. I can always assist you in capturing these ongoing development details as soon as you conceive of them.

  • For some drawing views in a patent filing, I may use a CAD system to make 3D models, especially for machinery inventions, which I generally most enjoy. However, I do NOT produce 2D engineering drawings, or dimension drawings for you. The CAD models may be created at an arbitrary scale and some proportions may be intentionally distorted to some degree so that, while all the elements discussed are present, if someone were to copy your invention based on the patent application drawings, it may fail to operate properly or optimally. This is to cause would-be copy-cats to make mistakes, and waste some of their time and money. Also, my CAD models are NOT suitable for product development, because I do not analyze them for strength or engineering fitness, or manufacturing tolerances, and I do not analyze possible failure modes and effects of your invention as represented by a 3D solid model used for illustrations only.

  • Unless you and I agree that I am to become a co-inventor with your product, I do not hold any equity interest in your invention. I do not provide market research, prospecting, sales, or business development services. I do not advertise or market your invention or your patent rights, and I cannot predict the possible success or competitive positioning of your invention in its market or field. Your invention stays confidential until an application document publishes. After it becomes public, or with your prior permission I may refer you to business professionals I may know within my professional network who may be interested in it. I do not take any fees for these referrals and there can be no guarantees that a referral will generate any positive result.

  • My patent practice is currently limited to US patent practices before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, within which as a patent agent I only practice US patent law, and not trademarks. I do not file or prosecute patent applications in foreign patent offices, although I may refer you to patent law firms which do file, prosecute, and litigate in foreign jurisdictions.

Rapid Prototyping

What is Patent Pending on Delivery®?

Learn about a new service brand for partnerships between rapid prototypers, machine shops, and patent practitioners.

View some of our completed Patents

Ergonomic Strength Conditioning Grip

No Lift System - moving granite countertops

S.E.L.F.® Load Binder – Fast & Easy Tool-Driven Turnbuckle

Plant Patent

• A plant patent covers the entire living organism, everything both above and below ground,not just useful portions of a plant such as edible parts, leaves for smoking, or structural materials for lumber.

• Most patent drawings use line drawings, but unless your plant is entirely black and white color at all stages of its growth, the plant patent application will need full-color sketches or color photos.

• You can include a genetic sequences (such as amino acids and nucleotides) by uploading a “sequence listing,” which is a data file in a standardized format.

• A patented plant is a thing created by a one or more human inventors – even by accident, BUT the plant cannot have come into being on its own by an accident of nature, or just found in the wild.

• You must be able to reproduce the plant asexually, such as by a graft, to prove that the distinctive attributes of the plant are stable and reproducible from one generation to the next and are not just a random, one-off genetic mutation.

• If your plant application looks and reads like something tasty, the examiner will probably request a sample.

Utility Patent

• Most issued patents are utility patents. Utility patent claims are harder to work around than design patent claims.

• A utility patent can cover structures and physical components and how they are connected to each other or how they interoperate.

• A utility patent can also cover processes, methods, recipes, treatments to materials that change their properties (e.g, vulcanizing rubber or case hardening or induction hardening of metals.)

• A utility invention provides anything “useful” to society, including “entertainment.” There are a huge bunch of patented mechanisms which never found any industrial use but are nonetheless really fascinating to watch. Some of these were even successfully marketed as toys.

• Utility patents include an issue fee and also maintenance fees that must be paid at 3½, 7½, and 11½ years after the patent grant.

Design Patent

• Design patents protect the “ornamentality” of a product, which is what it looks like: a distinctive shape that people seek it out for its looks.

• Design patents protect your “style” in fashion accessories, clothing, car hood ornaments and rims, containers for drinks and cosmetics, distinctive handles on home appliances,  etc.

• A design patent does NOT protect the structure or function of an invention. You need a utility patent to do that. If you get a design patent granted for your invention but advertise its functionality, (e.g, how it’s safer, faster, or does something useful,) you will undermine your own patent rights.

• If you get a design patent, others may still make and sell other things that look different from your invention but provide the same functions.

• Design patents require an issue fee but no other payments to the US Patent Office after issue.