SPH America, LLC v. T-Mobile US, Inc.

Filing 172

ORDER granting in part and denying in part 166 Motion to File Documents Under Seal. Clerk shall file under the seal-lodged documents. Signed by Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo on 5/30/2017. (dxj) (sjt).

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 SPH AMERICA, LLC, Case No. 3: l 3-CV-2318-CAB-KSC Plaintiff, 12 13 v. 14 ORDER RE MOTIONS TO FILE UNDER SEAL AT&T MOBILITY LLC, Defendant. 15 16 [Doc. No. 177] SPH AMERICA, LLC, Plaintiff, 17 18 v. 19 AT&T MOBILITY LLC, Case No. 3:13-CV-2319-CAB-KSC [Doc. No. 97] Defendant. 20 21 22 SPH AMERICA, LLC, Plaintiff, 23 24 25 26 27 Case No. 3:13-CV-2323-CAB-KSC [Doc. Nos. 307, 311] v. HUA WEI TECHNOLOGIES, CO., LTD. et al., Defendants, 28 3: 13-CV-2318-CAB-KSC 1 2 SPH AMERICA, LLC, Case No. 3:13-CV-2324-CAB-KSC Plaintiff, 3 [Doc. No. 166] 4 v. 5 HUA WEI TECHNOLOGIES, CO., LTD. et al., 6 Defendant. 7 8 SPH AMERICA, LLC, Case No. 3:13-CV-2325-CAB-KSC 9 10 Plaintiff, [Doc. No. 170] v. 11 12 CELLCO PARTNERSHIP d/b/a VERIZON WIRELESS, 13 Defendant. 14 15 The parties in the above-captioned cases have filed numerous motions to file under 16 seal in connection with the defendants' motions for attorney's fees. All of the documents I7 and information in question are items that SPH designated as confidential pursuant to the 18 protective orders entered in these cases. On May 16, 2017, the Court denied SPH's motion 19 to file documents under seal in connection with its opposition in Case No. 13-cv-2323 (the 20 "Huawei Case"). Pursuant to that order, SPH has filed a renewed motion to file documents 21 under seal [Doc. No. 311 in Case No. 13-cv-2323]. Meanwhile, in the four other cases 22 referenced above, SPH has filed motions to file under seal unredacted versions of its 23 memoranda in opposition to the defendants' motions for attorneys' fees. 24 numbers in captions above.] Finally, Huawei recently filed a motion to file documents 25 under seal because SPH had designated the documents as confidential, but not taking any 26 position as to whether SPH's designation was proper. [Doc. No. 307 in Case No. 13-cv- 27 2323.] [See docket 28 2 3: 13-CV-2318-CAB-KSC 1 The documents that SPH wants filed under seal fall primarily into two categories: 2 ( 1) documents related SPH' s licensing and settlement agreements with licensees and the 3 discussion leading to these agreements; and (2) documents related to SPH's relationship 4 with ETRI. As for the first category, SPH has demonstrated good cause to file under seal 5 documents constituting and relating to its license/settlement agreements with third party 6 licensees. 7 As for the second category, SPH claims that good cause exists to seal the documents 8 because disclosure of such information would cause "competitive harm" to SPH and 9 "reveal confidential business information about how SPH, a privately-held company, 10 manages its affairs and who has ultimate authority to make certain business decisions." 11 [Doc. No. 311 at 3 in Case No. 13cv2323.] Because it is unexplained whether or how SPH 12 actually competes in the marketplace, it is unclear how it could suffer "competitive harm." 13 Further, SPH filed these lawsuits presumably under the premise of exclusive license rights 14 it believes it possesses from ETRI. The details of SPH' s relationship with ETRI are 15 fundamental to its standing to bring this case and only harm SPH to the extent that, as the 16 Court ultimately found when it dismissed the case for lack of standing, SPH is not in fact 17 an exclusive licensee and therefore lacks standing to sue for patent infringement. 18 Moreover, many of the terms of the license agreement are discussed in the Court's 19 dismissal order in the Huawei case [Doc. No. 287 in Case No. 13-cv-2323], which is not 20 sealed and part of the public record. Accordingly, SPH has not demonstrated good cause 21 to seal documents related to its relationship with ETRI. 22 Based on the foregoing, it is hereby ORDERED that the Huawei's motions to file 23 under seal [Doc. No. 307 in Case No. 13-cv-2323] is GRANTED, SPH's motions to file 24 under seal its opposition to the defendants' motions for attorneys' fees in each of the above 25 cases aside from the Huawei case are GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART, and 26 SPH's motion to file under seal in the Huawei Case [Doc. No. 311 in Case No. 13-cv-2323] 27 is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. It is further ORDERED as follows: 28 1. The Clerk of Court shall file under seal the documents currently seal-lodged by 3 3: 13-CV-2318-CAB-KSC 1 SPH in connection with the motions to file under seal that it filed in each of these 2 cases (except for the Huawei Case) on May 16, 2017; 3 2. The Clerk of Court shall file under seal the documents currently lodged at Docket 4 Nos. 312-1, 312-2, 312-4 through 312-20, and 312-27 in the Huawei Case; 5 3. To the extent SPH intends to rely on any information from the remaining 6 documents filed as attachments at Docket No. 312 in the Huawei case, it must 7 file those documents publicly. 8 information from such documents that SPH believes is confidential and on which 9 it is not relying in connection with its opposition to Huawei's motion; 1 In doing so, SPH is permitted to redact 10 4. To the extent that SPH's publicly filed opposition brief in any of the above- 11 captioned cases contains redactions based on references to documents or 12 information that the Court has not permitted to be filed under seal pursuant to this 13 order (namely, information related to SPH's relationship with ETRI), SPH should 14 re-file their briefs without such redactions if it wants the Court to consider such 15 arguments or information when ruling on the attorneys' fee motion. It is SO ORDERED. 16 17 Dated: May 30, 2017 18 Hon. Cathy Ann Bencivengo United States District Judge 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 For example, SPH argues that information concerning the identity SPH's investors and the terms of their investments is irrelevant. Based on that assertion, the Court assumes that SPH is not relying on such information in connection with its opposition brief. Therefore, to the extent a document contains this investor information as well as separate information on which SPH relies, SPH may publicly file a version of the document with the information about its investors redacted. 4 3: I 3-CV-2318-CAB-KSC

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