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Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., et al v. A10 Networks

January 17, 2013

BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL.,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
A10 NETWORKS, INC., ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Paul S. Grewal United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING-IN-PART AND DENYING-IN-PART BROCADE'S AND A10'S ADMINISTRATIVE MOTIONS TO FILE DOCUMENTS UNDER SEAL (Re: Docket Nos. 775, 794, 801, 807, 812)

United States District Court For the Northern District of California

Before the court are several motions by Brocade Communications Systems, Inc., et al, ("Brocade") and A10 Networks, Inc., et al ("A10") to seal various nondispositive and dispositive 19 motions and supporting exhibits. Because of the large number of documents designated for 20 sealing, the court first reiterates the legal standards for sealing and then summarizes, in table 21 22 format, the motions, the parties' requests, and the result of each request.

I. LEGAL STANDARD

"Historically, courts have recognized a 'general right to inspect and copy public records and 25 documents, including judicial records and documents.'"*fn1 Accordingly, when considering a sealing 26 27 request, "a strong presumption in favor of access is the starting point."*fn2 Parties seeking to seal 1 2 judicial records relating to dispositive motions bear the burden of overcoming the presumption with "compelling reasons" that outweigh the general history of access and the public policies 4 favoring disclosure.*fn3 5

Records attached to nondispositive motions are not subject to the strong presumption of 6 access.*fn4 Because the documents attached to nondispositive motions "are often unrelated, or only 7 tangentially related, to the underlying cause of action," parties moving to seal must meet the lower 8 9 "good cause" standard of Rule 26(c).*fn5

Both dispositive motions and nondispositive motions require a "particularized showing"*fn6 that "specific prejudice or harm will result" if the information is disclosed.*fn7 "[B]road allegations of harm, unsubstantiated by specific examples or articulated reasoning" will not suffice.*fn8 A 13 protective order sealing the documents during discovery may reflect the court's previous 14 determination that good cause or compelling reasons exist to keep the documents sealed,*fn9 but a 15 blanket protective order that allows the parties to designate confidential documents does not 16 17 provide sufficient judicial scrutiny to determine whether each particular document should remain sealed.*fn10

DN Request Result 775

A10's and Chen's Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law under Rule 50(b) or, in the Alternative, for a New Trial ("JMOL Motion")

A10's request to redact portions of the JMOL Motion is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. The proposed redactions include both Brocade's trade secret information and experts' damages estimates based on A10's revenues and expenses. Although the trade secret information properly may be sealed because of its proprietary nature, A10 has not provided compelling reasons why its financial information should not be disclosed. In light of the

1 2 documents must comply with the procedures established by Civil Local Rule 79-5. The rule allows

In addition to making particularized showings of good cause, parties moving to seal sealing orders only where the parties have "establishe[d] that the document or portions thereof is 4 privileged or protectable as a trade secret or otherwise entitled to protection under the law."*fn11

As this court has previously pointedly noted, the rule requires parties to "narrowly tailor" their 6 requests ...


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