Eugene M. Cummings

Patent Attorney, Inventor, Entrepreneur, and PilotCummings, Eugene

Education
BS Electrical Engineering, Northwestern University, 1962; JD, Loyola University School of Law, 1970

Initiated Triangle
Northwestern Chapter, 1964

Experience
Eugene Cummings currently serves as President of Eugene M. Cummings, P.C., a Chicago-based law firm engaged in the practice of intellectual property law. Mr. Cummings founded the firm in 1981, and remains actively involved in all matters handled by the firm, including a substantial portfolio of contingent fee patent licensing and litigation matters.

Cummings was first employed in the broadcast industry as a transmitter and station engineer at a commercial 5KW AM broadcast station while in high school, and as Chief Engineer of a commercial AM broadcast station while studying electrical engineering at Northwestern. His first involvement in aviation also began at that time, when he obtained his commercial pilot license.

Following graduation, Cummings was employed by Zenith Radio Corporation first as a color television design engineer, then as a registered Patent Agent while attending Law School. Following graduation he accepted employment with United Airlines, where he served as a co-pilot on the Boeing 727 until he was furloughed two years later as a result of a downturn in airline flying. It would not be until eight years later that he would return to United, eventually becoming a Captain on the Boeing 727, while at the same time practicing patent law.

In 1973, Cummings left Zenith to join a Chicago-based patent law firm, becoming a partner in that firm three years later. It was during this time that he founded Telesonics Systems, Inc., for the purpose of developing a system for broadcasting stereo sound along with U.S. standard color television broadcasts. After extensive testing, the Telesonics system was selected over competing systems as the national standard, and, after extensive litigation, was licensed to the consumer electronics industry. Following this success, Cummings undertook a number of other contingent-fee licensing projects, including licensing DVD technology to the consumer electronics industry.

More recently, Cummings founded Automark Technical Systems, Inc., for the purpose of developing a voting machine having touch-screen and audio user interfaces to enable a blind or otherwise disabled voter to mark a pre-printed paper ballot. Over 50,000 Automark terminals were manufactured and sold to election jurisdictions in 37 states.

Eugene Cummings has twelve U.S. Patents issued in his name.

Activities
Trustee, John G. Shedd Aquarium; Member, Board of Visitors – Duke Law School; Director, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.

Hobbies
Flying, tennis, travel, and collecting and restoring vintage broadcast equipment

Inducted
2011