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Tessera, Inc v. Advanced Micro Devices

November 21, 2012

TESSERA, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES, INC.; SPANSION, LLC; SPANSION, INC; SPANSION TECHNOLOGY, INC.; ADVANCED SEMICONDUCTOR ENGINEERING, INC.; ASE (U.S.), INC.; CHIPMOS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.; CHIPMOS U.S.A., INC.; SILICONWARE PRECISION INDUSTRIES CO., LTD.; SILICONWARE USA, INC.; STMICROELECTRONICS N.V.; STMICROELECTRONICS, INC.; STATS CHIPPAC, INC.; STATS CHIPPAC (BVI), LTD.; AND STATS CHIPPAC, LTD.,
DEFENDANTS. TESSERA, INC.,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
MOTOROLA, INC.; QUALCOMM, INC.; FREESCALE SEMICONDUCTOR, INC.; AND ATI TECHNOLOGIES, ULC,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Claudia Wilken United States District Judge

ORDER OVERRULING DEFENDANTS' OBJECTIONS TO NONDISPOSITIVE ORDER OF THE SPECIAL MASTER (Docket Nos. 1098 in Case No. 05-4063 and 228 in Case No. 12-692)

United States District Court For the Northern District of California

AND ALL RELATED COUNTERCLAIMS 23

Defendants Siliconware Precision Industries Co., Ltd. and Siliconware USA, Inc., STATS ChipPAC, Inc., STATS ChipPAC (BVI) 26 Limited and STATS ChipPAC, Ltd., Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., 27 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., ATI Technologies ULC, Spansion, LLC, 28 Spansion, Inc., Spansion Technology, Inc., ChipMOS U.S.A., Inc., ChipMOS Technologies, Inc., STMicroelectronics, Inc. and 2 STMicroelectronics N.V. object to a nondispositive discovery order 3 of the Special Master issued on October 24, 2012, which addresses 4 disclosure of confidential information to overseas experts. The 5 Court considers Defendants' objections de novo and OVERRULES them. 6

Defendants challenge the Special Master's order on three bases. First, they argue that section 7.8 of the stipulated 9 interim protective order precludes counsel from sending 10 confidential information outside the United States to anyone, 11 including to experts, and does not just limit its transmission to foreign attorneys. However, by its terms, section 7.8 restricts 13 only counsel from taking, removing, or accessing confidential 14 documents outside of the United States, and does not address 15 whether experts may access confidential information located on a 16 secure ftp site while they are outside the United States. By placing the material on a secure ftp site located in the United 18 States, counsel does not "take, access or remove (via electronic 19 means or otherwise)" the material outside the United States, 20 although if foreign attorneys working on the cases were to access 21 confidential information on the ftp site while outside of the 22 United States, this may constitute a violation of section 7.8. 23

Further, section 7.5 supports the Special Master's

24 interpretation. In that section, the parties clearly prohibited 25 certain material from being "removed, accessed, taken or allowed 26 to be taken outside the United States" by anyone. The parties 27 could have, but did not, make this provision broad enough to 28 encompass all confidential material, or material produced by one party that, by contract with a third party, was restricted from 2 removal outside of the United States. Further, if section 7.8 is 3 read as Defendants contend it should be, separate references to 4

"export controlled" material, including section 7.8, would be 5 rendered surplusage. 6

Second, Defendants argue that the Special Master erred by

7 applying section 7.6, which deals with objections to experts 8 themselves, to this dispute, and ignoring section 7.8. Defendants 9 argue that section 7.6 is inapplicable, because they were not 10 objecting to the use of the foreign experts in their entirety and that section deals with "resolving disputes involving objections to experts themselves." Mot. at 4. Instead, they state that they 13 merely are arguing that much of the discovery material cannot be 14 given to the foreign experts for analysis. 15

The Special Master correctly found that section 7.6 is 16 applicable here. According to its title, section 7.6 sets forth

"procedures for approving disclosure of 'confidential,' 'highly 18 confidential--attorneys' eyes only,' or 'highly confidential 19 financial--attorneys' eyes only' information or items to experts," 20 precisely what Tessera seeks here. A party may object that 21 disclosure of confidential material to an expert is inappropriate 22 for a variety of reasons. For example, a party may argue that 23

"disclosure is not reasonably necessary for this litigation" as 24 required by section 7.2(c). However, any objection to the 25 disclosure of confidential material is governed by the procedures 26 outlined in section 7.6, even if another section is also relevant 27 to the dispute. Further, as discussed above and by the Special 28

Master, section 7.8 is inapplicable. Finally, even if Defendants' characterization of this section were accepted, in practical 2 terms, their objection would mean that Tessera is unable to use ...


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