Dark Catt Studios Holdings Inc et al v. Valve Corporation

Filing 53

ORDER denying Defendant's 36 Motion to Seal. The Clerk is DIRECTED to unseal Docket Numbers 40 and 42 . Signed by U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour. (SR)

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Case 2:21-cv-00872-JCC Document 53 Filed 10/06/21 Page 1 of 2 THE HONORABLE JOHN C. COUGHENOUR 1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 DARK CATT STUDIOS HOLDINGS, INC., et al., v. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 ORDER VALVE CORPORATION, Defendant. 14 15 Plaintiffs, CASE NO. C21-0872-JCC This matter comes before the Court on Defendant’s motion to seal (Dkt. No. 36.) “There is a strong presumption of public access to the court’s files.” W.D. Wash. Local Civ. R. 5(g)(3); Nixon v. Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597 (1978). However, documents filed in support of a dispositive motion should remain under seal when a party can “articulate[] compelling reasons supported by specific factual findings” that outweigh the public’s interest in access. Kamakana v. City & Cty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006). Defendant moves to maintain under seal (a) an unredacted version of its motion to dismiss and (b) an exhibit in support of that motion. (Dkt. No. 36.) The exhibit contains excerpts from the Steam Distribution Agreement (“SDA”) between the parties, (Dkt. No. 40), and the redactions in Defendant’s motion to dismiss contain language from that same SDA. (Compare Dkt. No. 38 at 26–27, with Dkt. No. 42 at 26–27.) ORDER C21-0872-JCC PAGE - 1 Case 2:21-cv-00872-JCC Document 53 Filed 10/06/21 Page 2 of 2 1 Defendant asserts that the SDA represents confidential business information regarding 2 the terms of its agreement with game publishers. (Dkt. No. 36 at 3.) In support, Defendant 3 provides a declaration from counsel indicating that disclosure of this information, which is 4 subject to a nondisclosure provision, “could result in harm to [Defendant’s] competitive standing 5 by providing competitors unfair insight into the terms of [Defendant’s] business relationships.” 6 (Dkt. No. 37 at 2; see Dkt. No. 36 at 3.) 7 The cursory assertion provided by Defendant is not sufficient to establish compelling 8 reasons outweighing the public’s interest in access to the Court’s files. Namely, the assertion 9 does not indicate how disclosure would harm Defendant’s competitive standing. This is 10 particularly true, given the Court’s observation that, based on public filings in this matter and in 11 Wolfire Games, LLC, et al., v. Valve Corporation, C21-0563-JCC (W.D. Wash 2021), the terms 12 at issue are presently in the public domain. 13 14 15 Therefore, Defendant’s motion to seal (Dkt. No. 36) is DENIED. The Clerk is DIRECTED to unseal Docket Numbers 40 and 42. DATED this 6th day of October 2021. A 16 17 18 John C. Coughenour UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 ORDER C21-0872-JCC PAGE - 2

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