Microsystems Development Technologies, Inc. v. Panasonic Corporation et al

Filing 317

ORDER RE ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO SEAL. Signed by Judge James Donato on 8/4/2017. (jdlc3S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 8/4/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 8 MICROSYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT TECHNOLOGIES, INC., et al., Plaintiffs, 9 v. 10 11 Case No. 3:15-cv-03820-JD ORDER RE ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION TO SEAL Re: Dkt. No. 257 PANASONIC CORPORATION, et al., United States District Court Northern District of California Defendants. 12 13 14 This order resolves a pending administrative motion to file a document under seal. Dkt. No. 257. The motion is denied. 15 The motion was filed in connection with a non-dispositive discovery dispute. Dkt. Nos. 16 257-3, 258. In our circuit, documents filed in connection with non-dispositive motions may be 17 sealed so long as the party seeking sealing makes a “particularized showing” under the “good 18 cause” standard of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c). Kamakana v. City and County of 19 Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1180 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 20 331 F.3d 1122, 1138 (9th Cir. 2003)). But “[r]eference to a stipulation or protective order that 21 allows a party to designate certain documents as confidential is not sufficient to establish that a 22 document, or portions thereof, are sealable.” Civil L.R. 79-5(d)(1)(A). And “[a]n unsupported 23 assertion of ‘unfair advantage’ to competitors without explaining ‘how a competitor would use 24 th[e] information to obtain an unfair advantage’ is insufficient.” Hodges v. Apple, Inc., No. 13-cv- 25 01128-WHO, 2013 WL 6070408, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 18, 2013) (quoting Dunbar v. Google, 26 Inc., No. 5:12-cv-003305-LHK, 2012 WL 6202719, at *4-5 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 18, 2013)). 27 Under these standards, defendants have failed to show good cause why any portion of the 28 discovery letter brief should be sealed. The repeated assertion that portions of the brief should be 1 sealed “to avoid commercial harm and/or unfair competitive disadvantage,” without any 2 supporting detail as to the threatened harm, is plainly insufficient. Dkt. No. 258 at 1-2. So too is 3 defendants’ designation of the underlying materials as “Confidential” under a protective order. Id. 4 The motion is denied. The parties should file an unredacted version of the discovery letter 5 6 7 brief within 7 days of this order. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: August 4, 2017 8 9 JAMES DONATO United States District 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 2

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