Anza Technology, Inc. v. Mushkin, Inc.,

Filing 17

ORDER signed by Senior Judge William B. Shubb on 8/18/17: 12 Request to Seal Document(s) is DENIED without prejudice. (Kaminski, H)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 ----oo0oo---- 11 12 ANZA TECHNOLOGY, INC., 13 Plaintiff, 14 15 16 CIV. NO. 2:17-00656 WBS EFB ORDER RE: REQUEST TO SEAL v. MUSHKIN, INC., a Colorado Corporation, d/b/a MUSHKIN ENHANCED MFG, 17 Defendant. 18 19 ----oo0oo---- 20 Anza Technology, Inc. brought this action against 21 22 Mushkin, Inc. for patent infringement. Before the court is 23 defendant’s Request to File Documents Under Seal filed August 14, 24 2017. (Docket No. 12.) A party seeking to seal a judicial record bears the 25 26 burden of overcoming a strong presumption in favor of public 27 access. 28 1178 (9th Cir. 2006). Kamakana v. City & County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, Where a party seeks to seal a dispositive 1 1 pleading and a related attachment, the party must “articulate 2 compelling reasons supported by specific factual findings that 3 outweigh the general history of access and the public policies 4 favoring disclosure, such as the public interest in understanding 5 the judicial process.” 6 court then must balance the competing interests of the public and 7 the party seeking to keep records secret. 8 9 Id. at 1178-79 (citations omitted). The Id. at 1179. Defendant moves to seal an “Asset Purchase and Note Agreement” in support of its Motion to Dismiss, stating that it 10 is highly confidential and contains proprietary information, that 11 sealing is necessary to protect its privacy rights and the 12 privacy rights of a third party, and that sealing such record 13 will not prejudice plaintiff. 14 While trade secrets may justify filing documents under 15 seal, see Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179, it is not clear how an 16 asset purchase agreement is a trade secret. 17 sealing this entire document may prevent it from being used “as 18 sources of business information that might harm a litigant’s 19 competitive standing,” see Nixon v. Warner Communications, Inc., 20 434 U.S. 589, 598 (1978), or how disclosure of the document would 21 invade defendant’s or a third party’s privacy. 22 request is even less convincing here, where defendant’s unsealed 23 Motion to Dismiss specifically references the transaction 24 memorialized in the document it wishes to seal. 25 this information may prevent the public from understanding the 26 basis upon which the court makes its decisions, and defendant 27 fails to explain how its harm outweighs public policies favoring 28 disclosure. Nor is it clear how See Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178-79. 2 Defendant’s Further, sealing 1 Given the public policies favoring disclosure and 2 defendant’s failure to show compelling reasons to seal the 3 document at issue, the request will be denied. 4 consider a more tailored request, such as redacting a portion of 5 the Asset Purchase and Note Agreement, which specifically states 6 the basis for sealing or redacting this document and why 7 defendant’s harm outweighs public policies favoring disclosure. 8 9 The court may IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that defendant’s Request to Seal (Docket No. 12) be, and the same hereby is, DENIED without 10 prejudice. 11 Dated: August 18, 2017 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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