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The Inventor

Edward “Alex” Higginbotham, the inventor of microfiltration gutter guards. 

The team at MasterShield Gutter Protection are the leaders in micro-filtration performance and technology. Microfiltration gutter protection was invented by Alex Higginbotham. His technology was given the highest ratings by a leading consumer testing magazine in their dealer installed and DIY categories. We continue to work with Alex to advance and improve the technology so with MasterShield, you can rest assured you’re installing the latest advancements the industry has to offer.

Alex Higginbotham: About The Father of Microfiltration Gutter Guards

Alex Higginbotham had been frustrated for years by traditional gutter guards that didn’t work.  In 1999, he used that frustration to invent a revolutionary new method of protective water management for gutters: a self-cleaning gutter guard that filtered water more finely than the water you get from your municipal water utility.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs

For years, inventors believed you couldn’t make a gutter guard with a screen finer than 18 threads per inch, similar to what you’d find on a screen for a door or window. Alex Higginbotham discovered something different: when a fine microfilter was touched on the underside by a series of downward extensions, it would not just keep organic debris out of a gutter, but it would also allow water to quickly flow through what looked like a sheer but solid surface. He was awarded his first gutter guard patent in 2001 and had his first commercial success with LeafFilter® Gutter Protection, which was named to Building Product Magazine’s Annual Top 100 List for 2003 and 2004. To date, millions upon millions of feet of his original technology has been successfully installed across the United States.

Nothing has been better than the feedback shared with him. Over the years, he received input from installers in the field and from homeowners who purchased his products. It has given him a lot of food for thought. He strives to take what he hears and adapt his technology in new, different directions to innovate it even further.  It’s something that continues to this day.

Higginbotham’s innovations ultimately led him to produce the first gutter guard to ever feature stainless steel in any part of its design (the microfilter). Over the years, the filter has evolved from a common 316 stainless steel filter to one custom woven to meet specifications of the Higginbotham Ratio, one of Alex’s many discoveries that improved filter performance.

MicroVortex, the name we’ve given to this custom weave, will help you distinguish it from other systems that use a microfilter. A MicroVortex filter takes more water through it and self-cleans better than anything that came beforehand. The properties of this custom filter are worth seeking out in microfitration. This latest advancement in filtration technology was incorporated into MasterShield in 2011.

Another Higginbotham innovation is HydroVortex Technology, another feature unique to MasterShield. Unlike other systems that rely solely on gravity to pull water through them, HydroVortex Technology allows water to be pulled through the system at virtually any angle, from flat to vertical. It’s the key feature that allowed MasterShield to be pitched with the roof, improving the product’s ability to shed debris by just using wind more efficiently and effectively.

“To hold a patent that has changed the modern world would define you as an innovator. To hold more than one patent of this caliber would define you as a true leader.” – Mercedes Benz

Alex Higginbotham now holds ten US patents for gutter protection, as well as two Canadian and two Australian patents. In these patents, he teaches over 14 new technologies, representing about 15% of all the advancements in the field of gutter guards since 1880. No one understands microfiltration better than Alex Higginbotham.

Alex has several patents pending in all three countries. There is no other gutter cover technology available today with the sweat equity and research that has been put into MasterShield.

Higginbotham Patents: Micro Mesh Gutter Guard Technology

Edward “Alex” Higginbotham is the named patent holder of the patents listed below.  The Higginbotham patents are the foundation for the advancements in the gutter guard industry related to microfiltration.

A patent consists of claims.  Each claim describes and protects something independently unique or covers a specific point dependent one of the main claims.  Once a claim is granted and the patent is issued by the USPTO, no other party can be granted a claim on the same unique technology or feature.  It is possible for a third party to patent an additional feature or enhancement, but they cannot incorporate it with or into the underlying technology without the patent holder’s approval.

MGP Manufacturing LLC, the manufacturer of MasterShield Gutter Protection, has been Higginbotham patents Exclusive Licensee for these patent since March 2008, with Exclusive License rights in metal to Patent 6,598,352.   As new patents are issued, they become a part of the MGP portfolio.  The use of the Patents and Trademarks we license or own by any other entity is an infringement of our legal rights and is open to prosecution.

MGP Manufacturing LLC has an Exclusive License Contract and are the only company in the United States, Canada and Australia legally entitled to manufacture and supply gutter guard products to our patented specifications.

In accordance with Section 287(a) of Title 35 of the United States Code, the reader is hereby placed on notice of Edward Higginbotham and MGP Manufacturing LLC’s rights in the United States Patents listed on this site and associated with MGP’s MasterShield gutter guards.

Links will take you directly to the website.


Patent 6,598,352  Self Cleaning Gutter Shield

Patent 7,191,564 Self Cleaning Shield

Patent 7,913,458 Self Cleaning Shield

RE42,896 Reissue of Self Cleaning Gutter Shield

RE43,555 Reissue of Self Cleaning Gutter Shield

Patent 8,397,436 Self Cleaning Shield

Alex Higginbotham holds several other gutter guard patents and has several other patents pending, both domestically and internationally.  He holds two Canadian patents and two Australian patents, with several others pending in these jurisdictions.

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