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competitive drive

Peter A. Cummings

Member,Grand Rapids

T 616-205-1865F 616-205-4399616-205-1865

  • Michigan State University College of Law, J.D.
  • Michigan State University, B.S., with honors
  • Michigan
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Ct., W.D. Mich.

Peter Cummings is the co-chair of Bodman’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. He has over a decade of experience protecting new technologies and products in global markets. He is passionate about helping clients merge patent and intellectual property strategies with business objectives in evolving competitive landscapes. 

His practice focuses on providing strategic counsel and guidance on domestic and foreign patent procurement strategies and patent and trademark portfolio management. He prepares and prosecutes patent applications in a wide range of mechanical and electromechanical technologies. He also advises clients on patentability and freedom-to-operate issues and on transactional matters involving the development, use, and ownership of intellectual property assets. 

Peter serves a variety of clients ranging from multinational manufacturers and technology-driven companies to start-ups and entrepreneurs. He has particular experience advising Tier-1 automotive suppliers, having spent time seconded in-house with a global supplier to assist with developing and implementing a comprehensive IP strategy, handling technology-focused transactional matters, and learning real-world issues of the industry.

He also has clients in the consumer electronics, medical device, concrete formwork, and general manufacturing industries. His diverse skill set and experiences in both the procurement and transactional fields allow him to see the bigger picture and, as a result, better serve the client’s goals and expectations.

His services to clients include: 

  • Managing and developing patent portfolios in the U.S. and worldwide
  • Preparing and prosecuting utility and design patent applications to optimize protection coverage, while balancing timing and cost constraints
  • Evaluating patent landscapes to identify protection opportunities, competitors, and potential infringers 
  • Rendering legal opinions on patent validity and non-infringement
  • Assisting with trade secret protection measures and providing clients with internal seminars.
  • Advising on freedom-to-operate issues for new products and services, including collaborative design-around counseling 
  • Conducting due diligence reviews of intellectual property portfolios for M&A transactions
  • Drafting and counseling on joint development agreements, licensing agreements, and various other forms of commercial and technology agreements that involve intellectual property 

Peter is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. At Michigan State University College of Law, he served as Managing Editor of the International Law Review and was Vice President of the Intellectual Property Law Society.

Honors, Awards, and Recognition
  • Grand Rapids Magazine Top Lawyers 2019-2023, Intellectual Property and Patent Law
  • Michigan Rising Stars 2022-2023, Intellectual Property
Civic, Cultural, and Community Activities
  • Ada Christian Elementary School, Youth Sports Coach
Professional Affiliations
  • American Bar Association
  • American Intellectual Property Law Association
    • Chair, IP Transactions Committee
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association
    • Intellectual Property Section
  • Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association
  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Intellectual Property Law Section


Representative Matters
Representative Matters:
  • Advises multiple international Tier-1 suppliers on patent and trademark portfolio development and management matters, including obtaining several patents in key product technologies to strategically expand their patent portfolios 
  • Secondment at a Tier-1 automotive supplier to advise on the development and implementation of an intellectual property policy and invention disclosure system, and also to assist with technology transactions and internal training on related intellectual property issues
  • Drafted and prosecuted hundreds of patent applications and manages filing, prosecution, and maintenance of international patent families
  • Represented a venture-backed, medical device company through a complex patent clearance on a miniaturized surgical robot for abdominal surgical procedures
  • Assisted in defending several oppositions to related European patents that were part of a multi-venue patent enforcement dispute
  • Obtained a patent portfolio for a start-up company that was successfully enforced and later acquired
  • Conducted clearance evaluations and prepared and prosecuted patent applications for a Fortune 100 automotive company, including significant work on adjustable seating assemblies and semiautonomous vehicle navigation control systems
  • Prepared and prosecuted patent applications on water filtration and ice making devices for home appliance products of a Fortune 500 company
  • Prior to becoming an attorney, worked as an engineering intern at John Deere in the Harvester Works factory on manufacturing audit software along with other mechanical engineering and supply management projects


Practices & Industries Education
  • Michigan State University College of Law, J.D.
  • Michigan State University, B.S., with honors
  • Michigan
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office