Celgard, LLC v. Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co. Ltd. (US) Research Institute et al

Filing 511

CORRECTED ORDER by Judge Kandis A. Westmore Regarding 500 Discovery Letter. (kawlc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/15/2021)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 CELGARD, LLC, Plaintiff, 8 CORRECTED ORDER REGARDING DISCOVERY LETTER v. 9 10 11 United States District Court Northern District of California Case No. 19-cv-05784-JST (KAW) SHENZHEN SENIOR TECHNOLOGY MATERIAL CO. LTD. (US) RESEARCH INSTITUTE, et al., 12 Re: Dkt. No. 500 Defendants. 13 On June 25, 2021, the parties filed a joint discovery letter regarding Interrogatory No. 2, 14 15 which requests that Plaintiff Celgard, LLC: “Identify with at least the particularity required under 16 California Code of Civil Procedure § 2019.210 each and every piece of alleged confidential or 17 proprietary information that You contend Counterclaim Plaintiff misappropriated from Celgard.” 18 (Discovery Letter at 1, Dkt. No. 500.1) Section 2019.210 states: “In any action alleging the 19 misappropriation of a trade secret under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act . . . before commencing 20 discovery relating to the trade secret, the party alleging the misappropriation shall identify the 21 trade secret with reasonable particularity . . . .” In November 2020, the undersigned ruled on a similar dispute, denying Defendants’ 22 23 request to require Plaintiff to comply with § 2019.210. (Discovery Order, Dkt. No. 399.) First, 24 the Court found that the presiding judge had already rejected Defendants’ request to require 25 Plaintiff to comply with § 2019.210 at a recent case management conference. (Id. at 1.) Second, 26 27 28 1 On July 9, 2021, the Court issued an order regarding the discovery letter filed at Docket No. 495. (Dkt. No. 506.) The parties had re-filed that discovery letter at Docket No. 500 to include a party attestation. Accordingly, the Court’s order should have been directed at Docket No. 500. The instant order makes this correction, but is otherwise the same as the order at Docket No. 506. 1 the Court found that Plaintiff had not alleged a misappropriation claim in this case; rather, 2 Plaintiff’s misappropriation claims were brought in the Western District of North Carolina. (Id.) 3 The Western District of North Carolina, in turn, was (and apparently still is) deciding whether it 4 can exercise personal jurisdiction over Defendants. (Id. at 2.) Thus, because Plaintiff was not 5 alleging a misappropriation claim, § 2019.210 did not apply even though Defendants had asserted 6 a counterclaim for a declaratory judgment in the instant case. (Id.) Finally, the Court found that 7 “even if § 2019.210 applied, Defendants fail to explain why Plaintiff’s provided identifications are 8 insufficient.” (Id.) The Court found that Plaintiff’s identifications identified specific documents, 9 and described certain systems, operating conditions, methods, equipment, manufacturing 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 specifications, materials, and product specifications. (Id. at 3.) It appears Defendants are attempting to re-litigate a matter that the Court has already 12 adjudicated, although they do not cite any changed circumstances that would warrant a different 13 decision. For example, they do not suggest that Plaintiff is now bringing a misappropriation claim 14 in the instant case, or that the Western District of North Carolina has declined jurisdiction. 15 Defendants also do not explain why this Court’s prior ruling that Plaintiff’s provided 16 identifications were sufficient no longer applies. While Defendants complain that Plaintiff simply 17 cited documents, it appears from the interrogatory response that Plaintiff provided a 42-paragraph 18 response identifying the target values, tolerances, and limits for specific items and with specific 19 numbers. Plaintiff then identified the documents in which such properties could be found. (See 20 Dkt. No. 494-3.) It is again unclear why this is insufficient. Moreover, as Plaintiff points out, 21 given that it is Defendants who have brought a counterclaim of no trade secret misappropriation, 22 “they must have had in mind what trade secrets they believed they had not misappropriated.” 23 (Discovery Letter at 5.) 24 Accordingly, Defendants’ request for a further response to Interrogatory No. 2 is DENIED. 25 IT IS SO ORDERED. 26 Dated: July 15, 2021 __________________________________ KANDIS A. WESTMORE United States Magistrate Judge 27 28 2

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