ZURU LTD. v. TELEBRANDS CORP.
ORDER granting Zuru's 160 Motion to Redact and seal portions of 150 Transcript,. Signed by Magistrate Judge Mark Falk on 6/29/2016. (nr, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
USPO & COURTHOUSE
1 FEDERAL SQ., ROOM 457
NEWARK, NJ 07101
June 29, 2016
TO ALL COUNSEL OF RECORD
Zuru LTD. v. Telebrands Corp., 15-548 (CCC)
Before the Court is Plaintiff’s motion to redact and seal portions of a July 29, 2015
Transcript of Proceedings held in Court before the Honorable Claire C. Cecchi, U.S.D.J.
[ECF No. 160]. The motion is opposed. For the reasons stated below, the motion is
As the parties are aware, this is a trademark and copyright action by Zuru alleging
that its “Bunch of Balloons” product is infringed by Telebrands’ competing “Balloon
Bonanza” product. Both parties have alleged that various aspects of the proceedings are
confidential and should be sealed, largely due to confidentiality and marketing concerns
relating to competitors.
On July 29, 2015, Judge Cecchi held a hearing on an application by Telebrands
seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent Zuru from airing a televison commercial. The
Courtroom was closed to the public during the hearing.1 Discussed during that hearing
were emails from Zuru personnel relating to the production of the commercial. Zuru
seeks to seal 28 lines—out of a 47 page transcript—that discusses those emails. It
contends that the emails reveal confidential communications relating to Zuru’s marketing
Telebrands Br. at 2 n.1; ECF No. 165.
activities, business strategy, and internal corporate decision-making. Telebrands opposes
the motion, arguing the communications involved third parties and do not qualify for
In this District, the Local Civil Rules provide the framework for consideration of
requests to seal judicial proceedings, requiring that the party seeking closure show: “(a)
the nature of the materials or proceedings at issue, (b) the legitimate private or public
interests which warrant the relief sought, (c) the clearly defined and serious injury that
would result if the relief sought is not granted, and (d) why a less restrictive alternative to
the relief sought is not available.” L. Civ. R. 5.3(c)(2). There is a presumption of public
access that must be overcome by a showing of good cause. See L. Civ. R. 5.3(a)(4)
(“Subject to this rule and to statute or other law, all . . . judicial proceedings are matters
of public record and shall not be sealed.”). Good cause exists only when a party shows
that disclosure will result in “a clearly defined and serious injury . . . .” Pansy v. Boro. of
Stroudsburg, 23 F.3d 772, 778 (3d Cir. 1994); see also Cipollone v. Liggett Group, 785
F.2d 1108, 1121 (3d Cir. 1986).
Zuru’s request to seal is limited and reasonable under the circumstances for the
following reasons. First, after reviewing the transcript, the types of emails being
discussed do implicate business and marketing strategies, which can qualify for sealing
under Rule 5.3. Second, the courtroom was closed during the preliminary injunction
discussion, which suggests all involved were aware that the information being discussed
was sensitive; this is not a true ex-post facto attempt to seal the courtroom. Third, both
sides in this case have aggressively sought to seal information in this case, and the Court
has granted certain requests to seal similar information. Fourth, there is no articulated
public interest in the information at issue—and certainly none sufficient to outweigh
Zuru’s confidentiality and privacy interests.
Based on the above, Zuru’s motion [ECF No. 160] is GRANTED.
United States Magistrate Judge
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