Former Dow patent litigation chief joins Mitchell IP Law


 by Cynthia Price

Legal News

Mitchell IP Law has landed an impressive catch as Bruce M. Kanuch, for 42 years in-house patent counsel and  patent litigation counsel for The Dow Chemical Company, joins the firm.
Comments founder James A. Mitchell, “Bruce is a great person. He and I share the same lifelong love and enthusiasm for our profession, ... the same client-first philosophy of service and caring, ... the same philosophy of reasonableness in the financial aspects of working with our clients.”

Indeed, when asked about some of the highlights of his career, Kanuch answers, “My whole career has been a highlight. Enjoyed every minute.”

Kanuch started out with admittance to the bar in 1967 after receiving his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management with Chemistry Minor from Purdue University, and his law degree from the University of Minnesota School of Law. That same year, he was admitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and in 1982, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and U.S. Court of Appeals.

Kanuch’s and Mitchell’s association goes way back. “I have known Jim since almost the start of practice,” Kanuch says. “We both started practice about the same time and we met and became friends. I don't recall the exact circumstances under which we first met, but he has done a lot of work for Dow over the years.”

During his decades at Dow, Kanuch managed a work group of ten attorneys and ten office assistants and paralegals for about 20 years, and performed all phases of patent litigation, including trial and appellate work, supervision and budget development. He also negotiated settlements and represented Dow in mediation.  

After that, Kanuch, a dedicated Midland resident, wanted to continue practicing law. He joined Currie Kendall in 2008, but earlier in 2013 the firm closed. Some members started a new practice with attorneys from another Midland firm, but Kanuch was considering retirement.

“I was looking for a place I could recommend for my clients,” Kanuch explains. “Jim’s firm was the first firm I thought of. When I approached Jim, he said why don't you think about staying in practice and associate with my firm. So I have.”

Kanuch has experience in all phases of IP law, including patent prosecution, trademark and copyright law, and related contract drafting and negotiation. After Dow, he worked with many start-ups and individual inventors. He was in house patent counsel and patent litigation counsel for the The Dow Chemical Company for forty plus years prior to going into private practice. He has practiced extensively in the chemical and mechanical arts arenas.

He is also a certified Michigan Facilitative Mediator.

Mitchell and Kanuch also got to know each other over the years while serving together on the Patent Section Council for the State Bar of Michigan. Active in local, state and national professional associations, Kanuch has also been involved with the State Bar’s Litigation and ADR sections. He is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and has served on its Patent Law and Patent Litigation committees. He is a founding member and past president of the Saginaw Valley Patent Law Association.

Kanuch has been extensively involved with the Midland community over the years. To name just a few, he was a coach for the Midland Soccer Club for 13 years, a former president of  and hands-on Big Brother for the Big Brothers Big Sisters in the Heart of Michigan, and very active in the Midland Rotary.

Kanuch comments, “Yes, my whole career from graduation from law school up to the present has been in Midland. It might sound boring, but with great family and travel we have had a good life here.”

He also enjoys reading, music, theater trips to New York, and practice Tae Kwon Do, in which he is a fifth degree black belt.

Mitchell IP Law started out in early 2012 and offers the talents of two other attorneys in addition to Mitchell and Kanuch:  Kathleen Ogilvy, whose undergraduate degree is in Botany, and Jeffrey W. Johnson, who works on a special projects consulting basis.

James Mitchell is delighted about Kanuch’s decision to join the firm, and comments, “Bruce brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and wisdom to our firm.  It is an honor and a  privilege  to have Bruce join the firm.”