BladeRoom Group Limited et al v. Facebook, Inc.

Filing 288

REDACTED ORDER by Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd re 266 Discovery Dispute Joint Report No. 10. (hrllc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/22/2017)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 SAN JOSE DIVISION United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 BLADEROOM GROUP LIMITED, et al., Plaintiffs, 13 14 15 16 Case No.5:15-cv-01370-EJD (HRL) ORDER RE DISCOVERY DISPUTE JOINT REPORT NO. 10 v. FACEBOOK, INC., et al., Re: Dkt. No. 266 Defendants. 17 18 This Discovery Dispute Joint Report (“DDJR”) is a follow-up to DDJR #9, where the court 19 denied plaintiffs’ request for certain documents from the Emerson defendants because the subject 20 Request for Production (“RFP”) #45 did not ask for what they wanted produced. Plaintiffs solved 21 that problem with new RFPs; the Emerson defendants responded; and plaintiffs are dissatisfied 22 with their responses. Plaintiffs now seek an order requiring production of documents (or 23 additional documents) in response to RFPs 57, 58, 59, 60, 63, 64, 65, 66, and 70. 24 Plaintiffs are looking for evidence that the Emerson defendants were unjustly enriched 25 when they sold off a few months ago an entity named Emerson Network Power, which was 26 comprised of a host of sub-units, one of which was where (according to plaintiffs) there resided 27 the trade secrets that had been misappropriated by the Emerson defendants. How much of the 28 total price paid for Emerson Network Power was attributable to the value of that sub-unit holding 1 plaintiffs’ claimed trade secrets? That’s the question plaintiffs want answered. 2 The Emerson defendants already produced a document giving a breakdown of the value 3 attributed to each of the sub-units that were sold. But, plaintiffs think the value assigned to the 4 entity with their alleged secrets is way too low, and want information to prove the number was 5 lowballed and the real value is much higher. The Emerson defendants, however, argue that the 6 entity that plaintiffs are focusing on was only a tiny part of a very large business unit that went 7 through a complex spinoff. They say that they have produced what they have about the valuation 8 of that target entity in the spinoff, and argue that plaintiffs just want to rummage through 9 documents about the spinoff off that have nothing to do with the value of the sub-unit in question. 10 RFP #57 demands “[a]ll documents relating to the Acquisition” (“Acquisition” referring to United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 the spinoff of Emerson Network Power to Platinum Equity). RFP #58 demands all documents “relied on” in deciding to sell off Emerson Network 13 Power (and another business unit spun off as well, Liebert Corporation, one of the Emerson 14 defendants here). 15 RFP #59 demands “[a]ll due diligence materials relating to the Acquisition.” 16 The court concludes that RFPs #57, 58, and 59 are much too broad to be proportional to 17 the needs of the case, and words like “relating to” and “relied upon” are worryingly vague. 18 However, the Emerson defendants will produce the executed agreement(s) with Platinum Equity, 19 including all exhibits and attachments. Otherwise, plaintiffs’ request for production of these RFPs 20 is denied. 21 RFPs #60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, and 66---Each of these RFPs starts out: “All documents that 22 refer to, summarize, describe, or constitute valuations of . . ..” Each one then identifies one of the 23 Emerson entities or business units that are of interest to plaintiffs, i.e.: Emerson Network Power, 24 Liebert Corporation, Hyperscale Division, etc. The Emerson defendants object to some of the 25 RFPs as duplicative, claim to have already produced some responsive documents, and are working 26 on finding more. The court believes that these RFPs are on target, and notes that documents that 27 “refer” to valuations (even if no numbers are mentioned) are to be produced as well. Defendants 28 shall produce all responsive documents not already produced, as well as the document previously 2 1 2 produced in response to RFP #60 in native format, if it exists. RFP #70 asks for documents showing whether REDACTED REDACTED 3 As the court understood them, the 4 Emerson defendants previously represented to the court that there were no such documents, so 5 there appears to be nothing to consider ordering produced. 6 The Emerson defendants shall comply with this order within 10 days from its filing. 7 SO ORDERED. 8 Dated: May 22, 2017 9 10 HOWARD R. LLOYD United States Magistrate Judge 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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