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Ubiquiti Networks, Inc v. Kozumi Usa Corp.

February 25, 2013


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Jacqueline Scott Corley United States Magistrate Judge

United States District Court Northern District of California


Pending before the Court is the parties' Joint Statement Regarding Confidentiality Designations. (Dkt. No. 115-1). The Court's December 13, 2012 Order denied Defendants' 22 request for a determination that it had properly designated certain documents as "HIGHLY 23 CONFIDENTIAL -- ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY" ("AEO") because there was insufficient 24 information regarding the specific documents. Defendants renew their request for a 25 determination regarding the confidentiality of certain documents. The Court finds that the 26 AEO documents are properly designated, but declines to rule on the confidentiality of the 27 other documents as it does not appear that the parties have adequately met and conferred and 28 there is insufficient information before the Court to rule on the confidentiality of the 2 remaining documents. 3

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c) provides that upon a showing of "good cause" a 5 court may enter a protective order "requiring that a trade secret or other confidential research, 6 development, or commercial information not be revealed or be revealed only in a specified 7 way." See San Jose Mercury News, Inc. v. United States Dist. Ct., 187 F.3d 1096, 1103 (9th 8 Cir. 1999). "For good cause to exist, the party seeking protection bears the burden of 9 showing specific prejudice or harm will result if no protective order is granted." Phillips ex 10 re. Estates of Byrd v. General Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1210--11 (9th Cir. 2002). If the 11 court determines that "particularized harm will result from disclosure of information to the 12 public, then it balances the public and private interests to decide whether a protective order is necessary." Id. 14


Northern District's Model Stipulated Protective Order for Standard Litigation which allows 16 either party to designate material as "CONFIDENTIAL" and "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL -- 17


There are two documents at issue in this category, although the parties appear to have 20 reached an agreement with respect to one of them. The parties appear to agree that document 21 KOZ-008985 is subject to an AEO designation in its unredacted form, but that if Plaintiff 22 redacted the password information, the document could be treated as non-confidential. 23

William Wu and his brother concerning Mr. Wu's divorce. Defendants contend that these 25 documents are entitled to an AEO designation because of their highly confidential personal 26 nature. The Court has reviewed the emails and finds that they are of the utmost personal 27 nature and the Court cannot discern any need for Plaintiff to share these emails with their 28 client nor other parties. Nor does Plaintiff advance such an explanation; instead, Plaintiff

The parties here entered into a Stipulated Protective Order (Dkt. No. 89) based on the

1.Documents Designated as AEO

The second document, WU-39370-WU39375, is a set of personal emails between contends that Defendants have not shown that the documents would put Defendants at a 2 competitive disadvantage and that the documents do not meet the AEO standard in the 3

Party would create a substantial risk of serious harm that could not be avoided by less 5 restrictive means." (Dkt. No. 87, ¶ 2.7.) The Court disagrees as to the later- exposure of this 6 highly personal information could cause serious personal harm to Mr. Wu and his family, 7 which is unwarranted given that the majority of matters discussed therein do not relate to the 8 issues in this litigation. If Plaintiff has a good faith belief that these emails contain 9 information which it needs to share with its client or in house counsel in order to litigate this 10 case, it may file a supplemental letter brief to this effect. In the interim, the AEO designation 11 stands. 12

Following the Court's December 13, 2012 Order, Defendants de-designated and re- 14 designated numerous documents which they had previously designated as AEO. Defendants 15 appear to seek a ruling from the Court that the re-designation of these documents as 16 CONFIDENTIAL rather than AEO is proper. There are two over-arching problems with this 17 request: 1) it does not appear that the parties have met and conferred regarding this matter, 18 and 2) Defendants have provided samples from each category of documents which may not 19 accurately reflect the contents of all documents within a category and thus seek a Court order 20 passing on documents which the Court has not reviewed. 21

22 the parties' meet and confer efforts regarding confidentiality designations have been 23 insufficient. It appears that Defendants only intended this Joint Statement to address the 24 dispute regarding the two AEO designated documents, but Plaintiff objected to Defendants' 25 re-designation of documents from AEO to CONFIDENTIAL so Defendants decided to 26 include this dispute as well. However, it appears that Defendants did not advise ...

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