Google Inc. v. Rockstar Consortium US LP et al

Filing 70

ORDER by Judge Claudia Wilken ON ( 19 , 30 , 39 ) MOTIONS TO SEAL. (ndr, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/23/2014)

Download PDF
1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 4 GOOGLE INC., 5 6 7 8 Plaintiff, United States District Court For the Northern District of California ORDER ON MOTIONS TO SEAL v. (Docket Nos. 19, 30, 39) ROCKSTAR CONSORTIUM U.S. LP, MOBILESTAR TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, Defendants. 9 10 No. C 13-5933 CW ________________________________/ 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Before the Court are various motions to seal filed by Plaintiff Google, Inc. and Defendants Rockstar Consortium U.S. LP and MobileStar Technologies, LLC that are related to Defendants’ motion to dismiss. The Court GRANTS the motions to seal, but only in part. Under Civil Local Rule 79-5, a document may be filed under seal only if a party establishes that the portions sought to be sealed “are privileged, protectable as a trade secret or otherwise entitled to protection under the law.” Civ. L.R. 79-5(b). Any sealing request must be narrowly tailored to cover only sealable material. Id. The request must be supported by a declaration establishing that the sealing is warranted. Id. subsection (b). There is a “strong presumption of access to judicial records,” especially in the case of dispositive pleadings, including motions to dismiss. Kamakana v. City & Cnty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1179 (9th Cir. 2006). This is because dispositive motions are “at the heart of the interest in ensuring 1 the public's understanding of the judicial process and of 2 significant public events.” 3 documents attached to dispositive motions must demonstrate 4 “compelling reasons” outweighing the strong presumption in favor 5 of public disclosure. 6 Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1136 (9th Cir. 2003). 7 Id. Parties seeking to seal Id. at 1180; Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Defendants seek to redact certain portions of the Motion to 8 Dismiss and accompanying Dean Declaration. 9 Local Rule 79-5(e), Google filed a motion to seal portions of its Pursuant to Civil United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Opposition corresponding to information Defendants sought to 11 redact. 12 similar to the declaration filed in support of their own motion. 13 Defendants also move to seal portions of their Reply containing 14 the same information. 15 Defendants filed a supporting declaration substantially Some of these portions discuss the locations of Defendants’ 16 licensing meetings with Google and various other companies; broad 17 descriptions of the substance of some of Defendants’ meetings; the 18 fact that Defendants inform parties of their infringement of 19 Defendants’ patents, negotiate patent licenses, and receive 20 licensing revenue; and Defendants’ operations and 21 employee/contractor relations. 22 two reasons that all of this information is sealable: (1) Rockstar 23 is bound by non-disclosure agreements with various non-parties to 24 keep this information confidential and (2) details of Rockstar’s 25 licensing negotiations, including the names of the entities 26 negotiating with Rockstar, constitute “sensitive, confidential and 27 proprietary business information” that will harm Rockstar and 28 these non-party entities. Defendants’ declaration provides In general, these are “broad 2 allegations of harm, unsubstantiated by specific examples or 2 articulated reasoning” that are not sufficient to establish even 3 good cause. 4 establish that most of this information is sealable. 5 information, such as the fact that Rockstar is a patent licensing 6 operation, is not secret. 7 negotiations that may be covered by nondisclosure agreements are 8 so vague that they are unlikely to violate those agreements. 9 Afzal Decl. ¶ 21 (stating that Rockstar has met with or sent 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 1 notice letters to certain “entities outside of Calfornia to 11 discuss licensing of the patents-in-suit”). Foltz, 331 F.3d at 1130. Defendants have failed to Some of the The descriptions of licensing See 12 In an abundance of caution, the Court will permit the parties 13 to redact (1) the disclosed identities of entities that negotiated 14 with Defendants but are not parties to this suit and 15 (2) statements that specifically disclose the contents of 16 settlement discussions. 17 rest of the parties’ motions is denied. See, e.g., Dean Decl. ¶¶ 13, 19-20. The 18 The parties must file in the public docket revised redacted 19 versions of these documents which comport with this order within 20 seven days. 21 IT IS SO ORDERED. 22 23 24 Dated: 5/23/2014 CLAUDIA WILKEN United States District Judge 25 26 27 28 3

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?