Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Zur Forderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc.
MEMORANDUM ORDER re 54 Joint MOTION for Teleconference to Resolve Protective Order Dispute. Signed by Judge Sherry R. Fallon on 10/13/2017. (lih)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
FORDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN
Civil Action No. 17-184-JFB-SRF
SIRUS XM RADIO INC.,
At Wilmington this l2>th day of October, 2017, the court having considered the parties'
discovery dispute submissions and the arguments presented during the September 26, 2017
discovery dispute hearing (D.I. 56; D.I. 57; D.I. 59; D.I. 61; 9/26117 Tr.), IT IS HEREBY
ORDERED THAT the parties' competing proposals regarding various disputed provisions of the
proposed protective order are resolved in the manner set forth below.
Background. PlaintiffFraunhofer-Gesellschaft Zur Forderung der angewandten
Forschung e.V. ("Fraunhofer") brought this civil action for patent infringement on February 22,
2017, alleging causes of action for infringement of United States Patent Nos. 6,314,289 ("the
'289 patent"), 6,931,084 ("the '1084 patent"), 6,993,084 ("the '3084 patent"), and 7,061,997
("the '997 patent"), which are directed to apparatuses and methods used to receive and decode
encoded satellite signals, identify "channel fading" effects, and correct for those offsets using a
channel decoder. (D.I. 1 at ifif 15-19)
On May 23, 201 7, the court entered a scheduling order setting a document
production deadline of January 31, 2018 and a fact discovery deadline of July 31, 2018. (D.I.
26) On August 15, 2017, the court conducted a discovery dispute hearing regarding various
provisions of the proposed protective order. (D.1. 39) On September 26, 2017, the court held a
discovery di,spute teleconference to follow up on unresolved issues regarding the protective order
which were raised during the August 15 hearing. (D.I. 54) This Memorandum Order addresses
the remaining disputes regarding the definition of source code and additional restrictions on the
production of source code beyond those set forth in the Default Standard For Access To Source
Code (the "Default Standard").
Analysis. As a preliminary matter, the court adopts defendant Sirius XM Radio
Inc.' s ("SXM") proposed definition of source code in paragraph 12 of the protective order:
computer instructions and code, scripts, binaries, object code, data definitions,
source code listings, and any of the foregoing expressed in a form suitable for
input to an assembler or compiler, along with associated comments found within
the source code files. For purposes of clarity, Source Code as defined in this
Order shall include any code (such as RTL, HDL, VHDL, Verilog, netlists),
hardware-based documents (such as RTL, HDL, VHDL, Verilog, netlists,
physical synthesis, schematics, and similar documents) or technical software
documents (such as flow charts and design and functional specifications) that
disclose code, are required for code compilation, and/or are used for and/or in the
generation or building of an ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) or
software directly executed on a microprocessor, micro controller or digital signal
(D.I. 56, Ex. B at if 12)
SXM' s proposed definition of source code is broad enough to include both
software-based code and hardware-based code such as VHDL, which can be used to fabricate
and replicate circuit chips. (8/15/17 Tr. at 57:25-58:5) ("[T]here is a code that we would want to
look at. It has to do with how you make the chips. It's called VHDL. And it is code, but it's not
a code that's running on the chip. A code that they used that ultimately creates the net list, the
terms of the mass, how they make the chips themselves.") Code used to determine how chips are
actually made warrants heightened source code protection.
The evidence submitted in connection with this dispute establishes that the term
"source code" encompasses both software-based and hardware-based code. (D.I. 57, Ex.Bat~
10) SXM's expert, Nigel Jones, states that "[h]ardware code, such as VHDL, is source code that
employs a human-readable syntax that can be used to design, fabricate and/or enable the
operation of integrated circuits or chips, such as customized circuits for specific or specialized
11) Fraunhofer's expert does not expressly deny that VHDL is source code.
Defining "source code" to include hardware-based code, including VHDL, is also
consistent with this court's case authorities. See Intel Corp. v. Broadcom Corp., 173 F. Supp. 2d
201, 212 (D. Del. 2001) (ordering Intel "to provide to Broadcom VHDL source code," among
other material). In HSM Portfolio LLC v. Fujitsu Ltd, C.A. No. 11-770-RGA, the plaintiff
observed that "there is no dispute among the parties as to the agreed treatment of either HDL
Code or any physical layout file or other design file that can be used to actually fabricate a chip,"
and the resulting protective order afforded HDL Code heightened source code protection. (D.I.
57, Exs. Eat 2,
l(f), (1), & (m)) Although Judge Andrews ultimately concluded that
sourc.e code protection was not warranted for the disputed native circuit schematic files, that
conclusion was based on the finding that native circuit schematics could not be used to directly
fabricate integrated circuit chips. (D.I. 57, Exs. D at 2, Fat~ 19) In contrast, Fraunhofer's
counsel in the present case has expressly indicated that VHDL identifies how the chips
themselves are made. (8/15/17 Tr. at 57:25-58:5)
Several of SXM's additional proposals regarding restrictions on the production of
source code should be adopted to provide clear guidance and avoid the need to revisit such issues
in this case. As set forth in more detail below, the court adopts SXM' s proposals at paragraphs
40, 41, 42, 43, 44, and 45. The court grants-in-part SXM's requested relief with respect to ·
paragraph 39. With respect to paragraph 46, the court adopts Fraunhofer's proposed
SXM's requested relief should be granted-in-part with respect to paragraph 39.
Prohibiting the use of recording devices in the source code review room is a reasonable
precaution to prevent the dissemination of highly confidential material. However, Fraunhofer
should be required to provide a private space at the inspection site where SXM representatives
may use electronic devices.
SXM's requested relief regarding paragraph 40 should be granted. The provision
permits source code reviewers to take notes on the source code computer. As explained during
the September 26, 201 7 discovery dispute teleconference, the source code reviewers may then
request printouts of their notes on relevant code passages to prepare their expert reports.
SXM's requested relief should be granted with respect to paragraph 41.
Fraunhofer did not specifically address this topic in its letter submissions, and during the
September 26, 2017 discovery dispute teleconference, the parties represented that the provision
was no longer disputed. Requiring seven days' written notice of individuals planning to attend
the source code review, and requiring source code reviewers to sign a log, are not unreasonable
or burdensome requests.
SXM's proposal should be granted with respect to paragraphs 42 and 43. The
number of source code pages that may be printed or copied without the agreement of the
producing party should be limited to 500 pages. Fraunhofer has alleged that source code review
is not critical to the facts of this case, so it is unlikely that additional pages would be necessary.
Moreover, the parties and are not prejudiced from seeking additional relief ifthe need presents
SXM' s requested relief on paragraphs 44 and 45 should be granted, as Fraunhofer
represents that it no longer disputes the inclusion of these paragraphs. Placing limitations on
when, where, and how printouts and photocopies of source code may be maintained is reasonable
to ensure that the highly confidential source code is securely maintained. Likewise, placing
limitations on how excerpts of source code may be included in pleadings and other litigation
documents protects against the disclosure of highly confidential source code.
The court adopts Fraunhofer' s compromise position on paragraph 46.
Specifically, documents with fewer than 50 contiguous lines of source code may be produced
under the "Highly Confidential -·Attorneys' Eyes Only" designation, while documents with
more than 50 contiguous lines of source code may be produced in redacted form under the,
"Highly Confidential - Attorneys' Eyes Only" designation, or in unredacted form under the
"Highly Confidential - Attorneys' Eyes Only - Source Code" designation.
Conclusion. In view of the foregoing analysis, SXM's request for relief is
granted with respect to paragraphs 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, and 45. The court grants-in-part SXM's
requested relief with respect to paragraph 39. With respect to paragraph 46, the court adopts
Fraunhofer' s proposed compromise position.
This Memorandum Order is filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(l)(A), Fed. R.
Civ. P. 72(a), and D. Del. LR 72.l(a)(2). The parties may serve and file specific written
objections within fourteen (14) days after being served with a copy of this Memorandum Order.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a). The objections and responses to the objections are limited to ten (10) pages
The parties are directed to the court's Standing Order For Objections Filed Under
Fed. R. Civ. P. 72, dated October 9,' 2013, a copy of which is available on the court's website,
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