NXP USA Inc et al v. Impinj Inc

Filing 123

ORDER GRANTING UNOPPOSED MOTIONS TO SEAL. The GRANTS the parties' unopposed motions to seal. Dkts. 88 , 94 / 102 , 103 , 113 . Signed by Hon. S. Kate Vaughan. (PM)

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1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 6 7 8 NXP USA INC., et al., 10 11 12 Case No. C20-1503-RSM-SKV Plaintiffs, 9 ORDER GRANTING UNOPPOSED MOTIONS TO SEAL v. IMPINJ INC., Defendant. 13 14 INTRODUCTION 15 This matter comes before the Court on pending motions to seal filed by Defendant 16 Impinj, Inc. (“Impinj”), Dkts. 88, 103, 113, and Plaintiffs NXP USA, Inc. and NXP B.V. 17 (“NXP”), Dkt. 94, corrected at Dkt. 102. The parties seek to maintain under seal certain 18 documents associated with Impinj’s pending Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, unredacted 19 copies of related briefing, declarations, and exhibits, and an unredacted copy of Impinj’s 20 response to NXP’s pending Motion for Issuance of Letters Rogatory. See id. The motions are 21 unopposed as the parties either do not object to or support and similarly request that the 22 documents at issue remain under seal. See Dkts. 91, 106, 109, 122. The Court, having now 23 ORDER GRANTING UNOPPOSED MOTIONS TO SEAL - 1 1 considered the motions, responses, all documents at issue in the motions, and the remainder of 2 the record, herein GRANTS the parties’ unopposed motions to seal. Dkts. 88, 94/102, 103, 113. 3 DISCUSSION 4 “There is a strong presumption of public access to the court’s files.” Local Civil Rules 5 (LRC) 5(g). However, the presumption is not absolute and may be overcome. See Kamakana v. 6 City and Cty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1179 (9th Cir. 2006). A party must, as a general 7 matter, make a “compelling” showing the public’s right of access is outweighed by the party’s 8 interest in protecting the documents. Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp., LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 9 1098-102 (9th Cir. 2016). “Under this stringent standard, a court may only seal records when it 10 finds ‘a compelling reason and articulate[s] the factual basis for its ruling, without relying on 11 hypothesis or conjecture.’” Id. at 1096-97 (quoting Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179). 12 The Court’s Local Rules instruct parties to present legal and evidentiary support for a 13 motion to seal. Normally, the motion must include “a specific statement of the applicable legal 14 standard and the reasons for keeping a document under seal,” including explanation of “i. the 15 legitimate private or public interests that warrant the relief sought; ii. the injury that will result if 16 the relief sought is not granted; and iii. why a less restrictive alternative to the relief sought is not 17 sufficient[,]” along with evidentiary support from declarations where necessary. LCR 18 5(g)(3)(B). However: 19 Where parties have entered a litigation agreement or stipulated protective order (see LCR 26(c)(2)) governing the exchange in discovery of documents that a party deems confidential, a party wishing to file a confidential document it obtained from another party in discovery may file a motion to seal but need not satisfy subpart (3)(B) above. Instead, the party who designated the document confidential must satisfy subpart (3)(B) in its response to the motion to seal or in a stipulated motion. 20 21 22 23 Id. ORDER GRANTING UNOPPOSED MOTIONS TO SEAL - 2 1 In this case, the stipulated protective order entered by the Court recognizes that LCR 5(g) 2 “sets forth the procedures that must be followed and the standards that will be applied when a 3 party seeks permission from the court to file material under seal.” Dkt. 77 at 2. It provides for 4 designation of documents as “Confidential”, for information or things qualifying for protection 5 under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c), or “Highly Confidential – Attorneys’ Eyes Only”, 6 for “extremely sensitive” confidential information or things, the disclosure of which “would 7 create a substantial risk of serious harm that could not be avoided by less restrictive means[,]” 8 such as “non-public financial information[], commercially sensitive and non-public sales or 9 marketing related information, and commercially sensitive technical information.” Id. at 2-3. 10 The parties now seek to maintain under seal information relating to NXP’s licenses and to 11 Impinj’s technology, processes, products, and business relationships and communications with 12 its third-party vendors and customers. See Dkts. 88, 91, 94/102, 103, 106, 109, 113, and 122. 13 The requests relate to both documents containing such information, including those designated 14 highly confidential and confidential under the protective order, and to unredacted briefing, 15 declarations, and exhibits containing information derived from, referencing, or quoting the 16 highly confidential/confidential documents. See id. The parties maintain the information at 17 issue is confidential, proprietary, and/or commercially sensitive and not otherwise publicly 18 available. They contend disclosure of the information would cause competitive harm, would not 19 aid the public in understanding the parties’ positions or the judicial process, and that no less 20 restrictive means exist to protect the information. 21 As reflected above, the parties either agree with or do not object to the requests to seal. 22 At most, NXP reserves the right to object and compel production of an unredacted copy of one 23 exhibit not produced in discovery, but identified by Impinj as a confidential, non-public ORDER GRANTING UNOPPOSED MOTIONS TO SEAL - 3 1 communication to its customers, made available through a password-protected customer portal 2 on its website, and containing the confidential, non-public identity of a third party vendor. See 3 Dkts. 94, 98-16, and 106. 4 The Court finds the parties have complied with the requirements of LCR 5(g). They set 5 forth the applicable legal standards and the factual bases and explanations for keeping the 6 documents at issue under seal. They appropriately minimize the number of sealed documents 7 and the amount of partially redacted material. The Court further finds compelling reasons for 8 maintaining all of the documents at issue under seal because they contain confidential, 9 proprietary, and/or commercially sensitive licensing and other business-related information that 10 would harm the parties if disclosed, and because the parties’ interests in protecting the 11 information outweighs the public interest in disclosure. The Court therefore GRANTS the 12 motions to seal, Dkts. 88, 94/102, 103, and 113, and ORDERS that the documents identified 13 below remain under seal. 14 CONCLUSION 15 The Court ORDERS as follows: 16 1. 17 18 Defendant’s Motion to Seal Certain Documents Associated with its Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, Dkt. 88, is GRANTED, and the following shall remain under seal: a. 19 20 21 Exhibits A and B to the Declaration of Ramsey M. Al-Salam in Support of Defendant’s Motion (“Al-Salam Declaration”), Dkt. 89-2 – Dkt. 89-3; b. Exhibits 1, 2, and 3 to the Declaration of Ronald Oliver in Support of Defendant’s Motion (“Oliver Declaration”), Dkt. 89-6 – Dkt. 89-8; 22 23 ORDER GRANTING UNOPPOSED MOTIONS TO SEAL - 4 1 c. Unredacted copies of Defendant’s Motion, Dkt. 89; the Al-Salam 2 Declaration, Dkt. 89-1; Exhibit C to the Al-Salam Declaration, Dkt. 89-4; 3 and the Oliver Declaration, Dkt. 89-5; 4 2. Plaintiffs’ Motion to Seal Certain Documents Associated with its Opposition to 5 Defendant’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, Dkt. 94, as corrected by Dkt. 102, is 6 GRANTED, and the following shall remain under seal: 7 a. 8 Exhibits 13 to 25 to the Declaration of David L. Witcoff in Support of Plaintiffs’ Opposition (“Witcoff Declaration”), Dkt. 98-4 – Dkt. 98-16; 9 b. Unredacted copies of Plaintiffs’ Opposition, Dkt. 96; the Witcoff 10 Declaration, Dkt. 98; Exhibits 5, 9, and 10 to the Witcoff Declaration, Dkt. 11 98-1 – Dkt. 98-3; and the supportive Declaration of Vivek Subramanian, 12 Ph.D., Dkt. 97; 13 3. Defendant’s Motion to Seal Certain Documents Associated with its Reply in 14 Support of its Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, Dkt. 103, is GRANTED, and the following 15 shall remain under seal: 16 a. 17 Exhibits 1, 2, and 3 to the Declaration of R. Tyler Kendrick in Support of Defendant’s Reply (“Kendrick Declaration”), Dkt. 103-5 – Dkt. 103-7; 18 b. Unredacted copies of Defendant’s Reply, Dkt. 103-3; the Kendrick 19 Declaration, Dkt. 103-4; and the supportive Declaration of Vincent 20 Bianco, Dkt. 103-8; 21 4. Defendant’s Motion to Seal Certain Portions of its Response to Plaintiffs’ Motion 22 for Issuance of Letters Rogatory, Dkt. 113, is GRANTED, and the unredacted copy of its 23 Response, Dkt. 115, shall remain under SEAL; and ORDER GRANTING UNOPPOSED MOTIONS TO SEAL - 5 1 2 3 5. The Clerk is directed to send copies of this Order to the parties and to the Honorable Ricardo S. Martinez. Dated this 4th day of June, 2021. 4 5 A 6 S. KATE VAUGHAN United States Magistrate Judge 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 ORDER GRANTING UNOPPOSED MOTIONS TO SEAL - 6

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