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Chrome Hearts, LLC, A Delaware Limited Liability Company v. Sweet People Apparel

June 28, 2011

CHROME HEARTS, LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
SWEET PEOPLE APPAREL, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION D/B/A MISS ME; THE BUCKLE, INC., A NEBRASKA CORPORATION; AND DOES 1-10, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS. SWEET PEOPLE APPAREL, INC., A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION D/B/A MISS ME; THE BUCKLE, INC., A NEBRASKA CORPORATION; AND DOES 1-10, INCLUSIVE DEFENDANT/COUNTERCLAIMANT
v.
CHROME HEARTS, LLC, A DELAWARE LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, PLAINTIFFS/COUNTER-DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Alicia G. Rosengerg United States Magistrate Judge

STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER FOR CONFIDENTIAL TREATMENT OF DOCUMENTS OR INFORMATION

Complaint Filed: October 7, 2010

Trial Date: June 14, 2011

In connection with the production of confidential documents and other confidential information in this action, the parties, through their respective counsel, hereby enter into this Stipulated Protective Order for Confidential Treatment of Documents or Information (the "Stipulated Protective Order").

STATEMENT OF GOOD CAUSE: This action involves claims for, among other things, copyright infringement under the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq., and trademark and trade dress infringement and unfair competition under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1053, et. seq., and common law trademark infringement and unfair competition under California law. The parties, who are variously designers, manufacturers, vendors, and retailers of jeanswear and other casual apparel items, 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 and trademarked designs. The parties therefore recognize that extensive discovery requesting information from the parties, their vendors, customers and clients, including financial information, market information and other commercially and competitively sensitive information may be necessary to prove and/or disprove Plaintiff's claims and Defendants' defenses thereto. There will also be numerous 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 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.

A.Definition of "Confidential Information" and "Confidential -Attorneys' Eyes Only"

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. is protected as a "Trade Secret" under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, California Civil Code section 3426, et. seq., as defined at section 3426.1(d): "[I]nformation, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that: (1) Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to the public or to other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and (2) Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstance to maintain its secrecy"; or

b. is otherwise regarded by a party as being confidential, private, or proprietary in nature, including for example personal and private information regarding individuals such as personnel records; and

c. as illustrative examples only, the parties anticipate that the following descriptive categories will be designated as Confidential Information under this Order, including, but not limited to, employee records and information, customer lists, confidential financial information of the parties, including profit margins, sales data, profits, and retail sales summaries, vendor lists, order summaries, confidential contracts, and proprietary fabric/style specifications and unpublished designs.

2. "Confidential - Attorneys Eyes Only" as used herein, means Confidential Information that consists of Trade Secrets as defined in the California Trade Secrets Act and are (1) current business plans; (2) sales and financial projections; (3) sales and cost information; and (4) customer lists.

3. 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" or "Confidential-Attorneys' Eyes Only" 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" or "Confidential-Attorneys' Eyes Only," 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 reasonably conspicuous and prominent mark. In the case of documents, the mark shall be on every page.

C.Levels of Confidentiality

Any information designated as "Confidential" or "Attorneys' Eyes Only" shall be restricted in accordance with the following levels of confidentiality:

1. "Attorneys' Eyes Only" -- Information designated as "Attorneys' Eyes Only" shall be restricted to viewing, or copying by, and disclosure to:

a. Attorneys acting on behalf of the parties in this matter, including in-house counsel for the parties;

b. The office personnel employed by the counsel working under the direct supervision of said counsel;

c. The United States District Court for the Central District of California and all clerks and other personnel in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, before which this action is pending; and

d. Experts and consultants necessarily retained by counsel of record in this litigation, but only if these experts and consultants comply with this agreement in full and read, ...


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