ASUS Computer International et al v. InterDigital, Inc. et al, No. 5:2015cv01716 - Document 323 (N.D. Cal. 2018)

Court Description: OMNIBUS ORDER GRANTING SEALING MOTIONS AT 318 AND 319 . Signed by Judge Beth Labson Freeman on 11/1/2018. (blflc3S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/1/2018)
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1 2 3 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 4 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 5 SAN JOSE DIVISION 6 7 8 ASUS COMPUTER INTERNATIONAL, et al., Plaintiffs, 9 v. 10 11 Case No. 15-cv-01716-BLF OMNIBUS ORDER RE: SEALING MOTIONS AT ECF 318 AND ECF 319 [Re: ECF 318, 319] INTERDIGITAL, INC., et al., United States District Court Northern District of California Defendants. 12 Before the Court are Plaintiffs’ administrative motions to file under seal portions of their 13 14 opposition brief and exhibits, and reply brief and exhibits, in connection with the parties’ motions 15 for summary judgment. ECF 318, 319. For the reasons stated below, Plaintiffs’ motions are 16 GRANTED. 17 18 I. LEGAL STANDARD “Historically, courts have recognized a ‘general right to inspect and copy public records 19 and documents, including judicial records and documents.’” Kamakana v. City & Cty. Of 20 Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Nixon v. Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 435 21 U.S. 589, 597 & n. 7 (1978)). Accordingly, when considering a sealing request, “a ‘strong 22 presumption in favor of access’ is the starting point.” Id. (quoting Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. 23 Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir. 2003)). Parties seeking to seal judicial records relating to 24 motions that are “more than tangentially related to the underlying cause of action” bear the burden 25 of overcoming the presumption with “compelling reasons” that outweigh the general history of 26 access and the public policies favoring disclosure. Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp., 809 F.3d 27 1092, 1099 (9th Cir. 2016); Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178–79. 28 However, “while protecting the public’s interest in access to the courts, we must remain United States District Court Northern District of California 1 mindful of the parties’ right to access those same courts upon terms which will not unduly harm 2 their competitive interest.” Apple Inc. v. Samsung Elecs. Co., Ltd., 727 F.3d 1214, 1228–29 (Fed. 3 Cir. 2013). Records attached to motions that are “not related, or only tangentially related, to the 4 merits of a case” therefore are not subject to the strong presumption of access. Ctr. for Auto 5 Safety, 809 F.3d at 1099; see also Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179 (“[T]he public has less of a need 6 for access to court records attached only to non-dispositive motions because those documents are 7 often unrelated, or only tangentially related, to the underlying cause of action.”). Parties moving 8 to seal the documents attached to such motions must meet the lower “good cause” standard of 9 Rule 26(c). Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179 (internal quotations and citations omitted). This 10 standard requires a “particularized showing,” id., that “specific prejudice or harm will result” if the 11 information is disclosed. Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. Gen. Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 12 1210–11 (9th Cir. 2002); see Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c). “Broad allegations of harm, unsubstantiated by 13 specific examples of articulated reasoning” will not suffice. Beckman Indus., Inc. v. Int’l Ins. Co., 14 966 F.2d 470, 476 (9th Cir. 1992). A protective order sealing the documents during discovery 15 may reflect the court’s previous determination that good cause exists to keep the documents 16 sealed, see Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179–80, but a blanket protective order that allows the parties 17 to designate confidential documents does not provide sufficient judicial scrutiny to determine 18 whether each particular document should remain sealed. See Civ. L.R. 79-5(d)(1)(A) (“Reference 19 to a stipulation or protective order that allows a party to designate certain documents as 20 confidential is not sufficient to establish that a document, or portions thereof, are sealable.”). 21 In addition to making particularized showings of good cause, parties moving to seal 22 documents must comply with the procedures established by Civ. L.R. 79-5. Pursuant to Civ. L.R. 23 79-5(b), a sealing order is appropriate only upon a request that establishes the document is 24 “sealable,” or “privileged or protectable as a trade secret or otherwise entitled to protection under 25 the law.” “The request must be narrowly tailored to seek sealing only of sealable material, and 26 must conform with Civil L.R. 79-5(d).” Civ. L.R. 79-5(b). In part, Civ. L.R. 79-5(d) requires the 27 submitting party to attach a “proposed order that is narrowly tailored to seal only the sealable 28 material” which “lists in table format each document or portion thereof that is sought to be 2 1 sealed,” Civ. L.R. 79-5(d)(1)(b), and an “unredacted version of the document” that indicates “by 2 highlighting or other clear method, the portions of the document that have been omitted from the 3 redacted version.” Civ. L.R. 79-5(d)(1)(d). “Within 4 days of the filing of the Administrative 4 Motion to File Under Seal, the Designating Party must file a declaration as required by subsection 5 79-5(d)(1)(A) establishing that all of the designated material is sealable.” Civ. L.R. 79-5(e)(1). United States District Court Northern District of California 6 II. DISCUSSION 7 The Court has reviewed Plaintiffs’ sealing motions and the declarations of the designating 8 parties submitted in support thereof. The Court finds that the parties have articulated compelling 9 reasons to seal certain portions of the submitted documents. The proposed redactions are 10 generally narrowly tailored. The Court’s rulings on the sealing requests are set forth in the tables 11 below. 12 13 14 A. ECF 318 (Plaintiffs’ Motion as to Plaintiffs’ Opposition and Exhibits) ECF Document to be Sealed: Result Reasoning No. 318-4 15 Exhibit A to Sealing Declaration GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. 16 17 18 Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 4, ECF 273. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 19 20 21 22 318-5 Exhibit B GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ arbitration proceedings. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 3 at ECF 318-1. 318-6 Exhibit C GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ arbitration proceedings. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 4 at ECF 318-1. 318-7 Exhibit D GRANTED. Contains confidential information 23 24 25 26 27 28 Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ licensing negotiation communications. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 2 at ECF 3181. Disclosure of such information would harm Plaintiffs. Id. 3 1 ECF No. Document to be Sealed: Result 2 relating to the parties’ arbitration proceedings. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 5 at ECF 318-1. 3 4 318-9 Exhibit E GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ licensing negotiation communications. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 6 at ECF 318-1. 318-10 Exhibit F GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ arbitration proceedings. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 7 at ECF 318-1. 318-11 Exhibit G GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ arbitration proceedings. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 8 at ECF 318-1. 318-12 Exhibit H GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ arbitration proceedings. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 9 at ECF 318-1. 318-13 Exhibit I GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ arbitration proceedings. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 10 at ECF 318-1. 318-14 Exhibit J GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 13, ECF 273. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 318-16 Exhibit K GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential and highly sensitive information relating to the parties’ licensing negotiation communications. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 12 at ECF 318-1. 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Reasoning 24 25 Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 14, ECF 273. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to 26 27 28 4 1 ECF No. Document to be Sealed: Result 2 Defendants, the designating party. Id. 3 4 318-18 Exhibit L GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 15, ECF 273. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 318-19 Exhibit M GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 16, ECF 273. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 318-20 Exhibit N GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 17, ECF 273. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 318-21 Exhibit O GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ arbitration proceedings. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 16 at ECF 318-1. 318-22 Exhibit P GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ licensing negotiation communications. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 17 at ECF 3181. Disclosure of such information would harm Plaintiffs. Id. 318-23 Exhibit Q GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ licensing negotiation communications. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 18 at ECF 3181. Disclosure of such information would harm Plaintiffs. Id. 318-25 Exhibit R GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ licensing negotiation communications. 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Reasoning 5 1 ECF No. Document to be Sealed: Result 2 Franzinger Decl. ¶ 19 at ECF 3181. 3 4 318-26 Exhibit S GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ licensing negotiation communications. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 20 at ECF 3181. Disclosure of such information would harm Plaintiffs. Id. 318-27 Exhibit T GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ licensing negotiation communications. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 21 at ECF 3181. Disclosure of such information would harm Plaintiffs. Id. 318-28 Exhibit U GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 24, ECF 273. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 318-29 Exhibit V GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ licensing agreement. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 23 at ECF 318-1. 318-31 Exhibit W GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential information relating to plaintiffs’ pricing strategies and the parties’ negotiations. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 24 at ECF 318-1. Disclosure of such information would harm Plaintiffs. Id. 318-33 Exhibit X GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ licensing negotiation communications. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 25 at ECF 3181. Disclosure of such information would harm Plaintiffs. Id. 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Reasoning 24 25 26 Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 27, ECF 273. Disclosure of such 27 28 6 1 ECF No. Document to be Sealed: Result 2 information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 3 4 318-34 Exhibit Y GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 28, ECF 273. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 318-35 Exhibit Z GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 29, ECF 273. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 318-36 Exhibit AA GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 30, ECF 273. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 318-38 Exhibit BB GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ licensing agreements. Rees Decl. ¶ 31, ECF 273. Id. 318-40 Exhibit CC GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ licensing negotiations. Rees Decl. ¶ 32, ECF 273. Id. 318-42 Exhibit DD GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential information relating to parties’ licensing agreement. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 31 at ECF 318-1. Disclosure of such information would harm Plaintiffs. Id. 318-44 Exhibit EE GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential information relating to parties’ licensing agreement. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 32 at ECF 318-1. Disclosure of such 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Reasoning 28 7 1 ECF No. Document to be Sealed: Result 2 information would harm Plaintiffs. Id. 3 4 318-45 Exhibit FF GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ licensing negotiation communications. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 33 at ECF 3181. Disclosure of such information would harm Plaintiffs. Id. 318-46 Exhibit GG GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to parties’ licensing agreement. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 34 at ECF 318-1. Disclosure of such information would harm Plaintiffs. Id. 318-47 Exhibit HH GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 36, ECF 273. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Reasoning 12 13 14 15 16 18 B. ECF 319 (Plaintiffs’ Motion as to Plaintiffs’ Reply and Exhibits) ECF Document to be Sealed: Result Reasoning No. 19 319-4 17 Exhibit A 20 GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. 21 22 Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 4, ECF 302. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 23 24 25 26 319-5 27 28 Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ licensing negotiation communications. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 2 at ECF 3191. Exhibit B GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. 8 Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 5, 1 ECF No. Document to be Sealed: Result 2 ECF 302. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 3 4 5 319-6 Exhibit C GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 6, ECF 302. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 319-8 Exhibit D GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 7, ECF 302. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 319-10 Exhibit E GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ license negotiations with Plaintiffs. Rees Decl. ¶ 8, ECF 302. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 319-11 Exhibit F GRANTED. Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 9, ECF 302. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 319-13 Exhibit G GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ internal patent analyses. Rees Decl. ¶ 10, ECF 302. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 319-15 Exhibit H GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. Contains confidential information relating to the parties’ licensing negotiation communications. Franzinger Decl. ¶ 9 at ECF 319- 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Reasoning 28 9 1 ECF No. Document to be Sealed: Result 2 1. 3 Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ internal licensing practices and negotiation strategies. Rees Decl. ¶ 11, ECF 302. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 4 5 6 7 8 319-17 Exhibit I 9 GRANTED as to highlighted portions by the designating parties. 10 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Reasoning 12 Contains confidential information relating to Defendants’ licenses with third parties. Rees Decl. ¶ 12, ECF 302. Disclosure of such information would cause harm to Defendants, the designating party. Id. 13 14 15 16 17 III. ORDER For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiffs’ motions at ECF 318 and ECF 319 are GRANTED. The parties need not file lesser redacted versions of the documents, as the respective designating parties have already done so. 18 19 IT IS SO ORDERED. 20 21 22 23 Dated: November 1, 2018 ______________________________________ BETH LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge 24 25 26 27 28 10