The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Consuelo B. Marshall
The Court has considered the Motion for Protective Order brought by The TJX Companies, Inc. dba TJ Maxx, Ms. Bubbles, Inc., Styles for Less, Bella D, Inc., and Filene's Basement, LLC (collectively, "Defendants"), as well as the Joint Stipulation submitted by Plaintiff and Defendants pursuant to Local Rule 37-2.
Finding good cause therefore, the Court hereby grants Defendants' Motion for Protective Order and orders that a Protective Order be entered in this case as follows:
I.STATEMENT OF GOOD CAUSE
This action involves claims for copyright infringement under the Copyright Act of 1976, Title 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq. The parties, who are variously manufacturers and vendors of textile designs and apparel retailers, are direct and/or indirect competitors of each other. A primary element of this case is related to Plaintiff's claim that because of Defendants' alleged wrongful acts, Plaintiff has lost substantial business relating to its copyrighted designs. The parties therefore recognize that extensive discovery requesting information from the parties regarding their vendors, customers and clients, including financial information, market information and other commercially and competitively sensitive information maybe necessary to prove and/or disprove Plaintiff's claims and Defendants' defenses thereto. There will also be multiple depositions of the parties' employees or agents and third party vendors, customers or clients and such persons will likely be asked to answer questions on these potentially sensitive subject areas. The parties, as competitors in the industry, will likely be placed at a competitive or economic disadvantage if such confidential and/or proprietary information is disclosed to other parties and/or the public at large. This protective order ("Protective Order" or "Order") is therefore necessary to avoid any prejudice or harm in the form of loss of competitive advantage which would likely result if such information was disclosed in the absence of the protections set forth herein. This Order is also necessary for the orderly management of this litigation. Without this Order, the exchange of party information, as well as information needed from third parties, including most importantly the parties' vendors, customers or clients may become logistically very difficult, time consuming and expensive.
Therefore, based on the foregoing statement of good cause the parties respectfully request that the Court should grant the Parties stipulation for entry of the below Protective Order.
A. Definition of "Confidential Information"
1. "Confidential Information," as used herein, means all information in whatever form, such as oral, written, documentary, tangible, intangible, electronic, or digitized now or hereafter in existence that:
(a) derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means, by other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use;
(b) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy; and
(c) is otherwise regarded by a party as being confidential, private, or proprietary in nature.
2. Confidential Information is unlimited in kind or form and includes, by way of example only and without limitation thereto, information relating to the following: any products, designs, specifications, tests, plans, studies, surveys, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, advertisement, sales, opportunities, vendors, customers, financial matters, costs, sources, prices, profits, research, development, analysis, know-how, show-how, personnel, strategies, or competition.
B. Production of Confidential Information
1. All efforts by any party or witness in this matter to designate any information as "Confidential," shall be governed by the terms of this Order. The party by whom any disclosure is made is the "Disclosing Party" and the party to whom any disclosure is made is the "Receiving Party." By receiving any property designated as "Confidential," the Receiving Party agrees not to disclose, publish, disseminate, or use, other than as expressly permitted herein, any such property and will assure that all reasonable efforts are made to prevent any unauthorized use, disclosure, publication or dissemination of such property.
2. All Confidential Information produced by the Disclosing Party to the Receiving Party in whatever form (e.g., documents, materials, things, testimony or other information) during the course of this matter shall be designated "Confidential" or "Confidential-Attorneys' Eyes Only" in accordance with the terms of this Order, infra, prior to disclosure, by use of a ...