Amgen Inc. et al v. Sandoz Inc. et al

Filing 239

ORDER by Judge Maria-Elena James granting 235 Administrative Motion to File Under Seal. (mejlc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/4/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 AMGEN INC., ET AL., Case No. 14-cv-04741-RS (MEJ) Plaintiffs, 8 ORDER RE: ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO FILE UNDER SEAL v. 9 10 SANDOZ INC., et al., Re: Dkt. No. 235 Defendants. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 On April 28, 2017, Sandoz GmbH, Sandoz Inc., Sandoz International GmbH (collectively, 14 “Sandoz”) filed an administrative motion to file under seal portions of a joint discovery letter and 15 the exhibits attached thereto. Mot., Dkt. No. 235; Jt. Ltr., Dkt. No. 236. Sandoz seeks to file 16 portions of the Joint Letter that contain information that Sandoz and Plaintiffs Amgen Inc. and 17 Amgen Manufacturing, Ltd. (collectively, “Amgen”) designated as confidential. Having 18 considered the parties’ positions and the relevant legal authority, the Court GRANTS Sandoz’s 19 Motion. 20 21 LEGAL STANDARD There is a “strong presumption in favor of access” by the public to judicial records and 22 documents accompanying dispositive motions. Kamakana v. City & Cty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 23 1172, 1178-79 (9th Cir. 2006) (citing Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 24 (9th Cir. 2003)). To overcome this presumption, a “party must articulate compelling reasons 25 supported by specific fact[s].” Id. at 1178 (internal quotation and citation omitted); see also 26 Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Elecs. Co., 727 F.3d 1214, 1223 (Fed. Cir. 2013) (sealing appropriate 27 where companies “filed declarations from employees” that “explained the measures the two 28 companies take to keep their product-specific financial information confidential” and “the harm 1 they would suffer if their product-specific financial information were made public”). Indeed, such 2 showing is required even where “the dispositive motion, or its attachments, were previously filed 3 under seal or protective order.” Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179. 4 But the presumption does not apply in the same way to non-dispositive motions, “such that 5 the usual presumption of the public’s right of access is rebutted.” Id. (citing Phillips v. General 6 Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1213 (9th Cir. 2002). “Good cause” is the proper standard when 7 parties wish to keep records attached to a non-dispositive motion under seal. Pintos v. Pac. 8 Creditors Ass’n, 605 F.3d 665, 678 (9th Cir. 2010). DISCUSSION 9 10 The good cause standard applies to the parties’ non-dispositive Joint Letter. See Welle v. United States District Court Northern District of California 11 Provident Life & Accident Ins. Co., 2013 WL 6055369, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 14, 2013). To 12 demonstrate good cause exists to seal portions of the Joint Letter, Sandoz submits the Declaration 13 of Josephine Liu, and Amgen submits the Declaration of Kimberlin L. Morley. Liu Decl., Dkt. 14 No. 235-1; Morley Decl., Dkt. No. 238). 15 Liu, Head of U.S. Intellectual Property Litigation at Sandoz Inc., explains that the portions 16 of the Joint Letter sought to be sealed contain confidential information regarding Sandoz’s 17 manufacturing and purification processes for Zarxio. Liu Decl. ¶ 2. Morley, Senior Counsel in 18 Amgen Inc.’s Intellectual Property & Litigation group, avers the Joint Letter contains information 19 about Amgen’s manufacturing and purification processes for Neupogen, its filgrastim product. 20 Morley Decl. ¶ 2. The information regarding Zarxio and Neupogen has been designated “Highly 21 Confidential – BLA Material” pursuant to the parties’ protective order. Liu Decl. ¶ 2; Morley 22 Decl. ¶ 2; see Protective Order, Dkt. No. 60. If this information were to be made public, Sandoz’s 23 and Amgen’s competitors could use it to each party’s disadvantage, causing them to suffer 24 substantial harm. Id. (both). 25 26 27 28 Sandoz and Amgen demonstrate good cause for sealing portions of the Joint Letter. See Nixon v. Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 598 (1978) (“[C]ourts have refused to permit their files to serve . . . as sources of business information that might harm a litigant’s competitive standing[.]”); In re Google Inc. Gmail Litig., 2014 WL 10537440, at *4 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 6, 2014) 2 1 (material that, if disclosed, would cause litigant competitive harm is sealable under either good 2 cause or compelling reasons standards). Moreover, the proposed redactions are narrowly tailored 3 and seek to seal only confidential information. See Civ. L.R. 79-5(b). 4 For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS Sandoz’s Motion to File under Seal. 5 IT IS SO ORDERED. 6 7 8 9 Dated: May 4, 2017 ______________________________________ MARIA-ELENA JAMES United States Magistrate Judge 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 3

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