Dark Catt Studios Holdings Inc et al v. Valve Corporation
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)
Case 2:21-cv-00872-JCC Document 53 Filed 10/06/21 Page 1 of 2
THE HONORABLE JOHN C. COUGHENOUR
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON
DARK CATT STUDIOS HOLDINGS, INC.,
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.)
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Case 2:21-cv-00872-JCC Document 53 Filed 10/06/21 Page 2 of 2
Defendant asserts that the SDA represents confidential business information regarding
the terms of its agreement with game publishers. (Dkt. No. 36 at 3.) In support, Defendant
provides a declaration from counsel indicating that disclosure of this information, which is
subject to a nondisclosure provision, “could result in harm to [Defendant’s] competitive standing
by providing competitors unfair insight into the terms of [Defendant’s] business relationships.”
(Dkt. No. 37 at 2; see Dkt. No. 36 at 3.)
The cursory assertion provided by Defendant is not sufficient to establish compelling
reasons outweighing the public’s interest in access to the Court’s files. Namely, the assertion
does not indicate how disclosure would harm Defendant’s competitive standing. This is
particularly true, given the Court’s observation that, based on public filings in this matter and in
Wolfire Games, LLC, et al., v. Valve Corporation, C21-0563-JCC (W.D. Wash 2021), the terms
at issue are presently in the public domain.
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.
John C. Coughenour
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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