Cisco Systems Inc-v-Arista Networks, Inc

Filing 755

ORDER GRANTING 752 MOTION TO SEAL EXHIBITS FILED IN SUPPORT OF BILL OF COSTS. Signed by Judge Beth Labson Freeman on 1/9/2017. (blflc4S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/9/2017)

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1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 SAN JOSE DIVISION 4 5 CISCO SYSTEMS INC, Case No. 14-cv-05344-BLF Plaintiff, 6 v. 7 8 ARISTA NETWORKS, INC., Defendant. ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO SEAL EXHIBITS FILED IN SUPPORT OF BILL OF COSTS [Re: ECF 752] 9 10 Before the Court is Defendant Arista Networks, Inc. (“Arista”)’s administrative motion to United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 file under seal documents in support of its bill of costs. ECF 752, 753. For the reasons stated 13 below, the motion is GRANTED. 14 15 I. LEGAL STANDARD There is a “strong presumption in favor of access” to judicial records. Kamakana v. City & 16 Cnty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. 17 Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir. 2003)). A party seeking to seal judicial records bears the 18 burden of overcoming this presumption by articulating “compelling reasons supported by specific 19 factual findings that outweigh the general history of access and the public policies favoring 20 disclosure.” Id. at 1178-79. Compelling reasons for sealing court files generally exist when such 21 “‘court files might have become a vehicle for improper purposes,’ such as the use of records to 22 gratify private spite, promote public scandal, circulate libelous statements, or release trade 23 secrets.” Id. (quoting Nixon v. Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 598 (1978)). However, 24 “[t]he mere fact that the production of records may lead to a litigant’s embarrassment, 25 incrimination, or exposure to further litigation will not, without more, compel the court to seal its 26 records.” Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179. Ultimately, “[w]hat constitutes a ‘compelling reason’ is 27 ‘best left to the sound discretion of the trial court.’” Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrslyer Grp., LLC, 28 809 F.3d 1092, 1097 (9th Cir. 2016). “Despite this strong preference for public access, [the Ninth Circuit has] carved out an 1 2 exception,” id. at 1097, for judicial records attached to motions that are “tangentially related to the 3 merits of a case,” id. at 1101. Parties moving to seal such records need only make a 4 “particularized showing” under the “good cause” standard of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5 26(c). Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1180 (quoting Foltz, 331 F.3d at 1138). In this District, parties seeking to seal judicial records must furthermore follow Civil Local 6 7 Rule 79-5, which requires, inter alia, that a sealing request be “narrowly tailored to seek sealing 8 only of sealable material.” Civil L.R. 79-5(b) (emphasis added). Where the submitting party 9 seeks to file under seal a document designated confidential by another party, the burden of 10 articulating compelling reasons for sealing is placed on the designating party. Id. 79-5(e). United States District Court Northern District of California 11 II. DISCUSSION The Court has reviewed Arista’s sealing motion and declaration of Eduardo Santacana in 12 13 support thereof. According to the declaration, all the requested documents should be sealed 14 because they contain confidential information, such as billing information, account numbers, 15 personal identifying information of witnesses, as well as strategic pricing and corporate discounts 16 of companies. ECF 751-1 ¶ 4. The Court finds that the “good cause” standard applies as Arista’s bill of costs is 17 18 “tangentially related to the merits of a case.” Because the documents contain confidential personal 19 information as well as pricing information that could be used to the companies’ competitive 20 advantage, they are appropriately sealable under the “good cause” standard. See Apple Inc. v. 21 Samsung Elecs. Co. Ltd., 727 F.3d 1214, 1226 (Fed. Cir. 2013). 22 III. 23 ORDER For the foregoing reasons, the sealing motion at ECF 752 is GRANTED. 24 25 26 27 28 Dated: January 9, 2017 ______________________________________ BETH LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge 2

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