COLLINS EDMONDS POGORZELSKI SCHLATHER & TOWER, PLLC, Joshua B. Long, Attorneys for Plaintiff, DIGITECH IMAGE TECHNOLOGIES, LLC.
OTIS D. WRIGHT, II, District Judge.
The parties to this consolidated patent litigation anticipate that documents, testimony, and other discovery-related materials containing or reflecting confidential, proprietary, trade secret, and/or commercially sensitive information are likely to be disclosed or produced during the course of discovery, initial disclosures, and supplemental disclosures in this case and request that the Court enter this Order setting forth the conditions for treating, obtaining, and using such documents, testimony, and other discovery-related materials, and the information contained therein.
Pursuant to Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court finds good cause for the following Agreed Protective Order Regarding the Disclosure and Use of Discovery Materials ("Order" or "Protective Order").
1. PURPOSES AND LIMITATIONS
(a) Protected Material designated under the terms of this Protective Order shall be used by a Receiving Party solely for this case, and shall not be used directly or indirectly for any other purpose whatsoever.
(b) The Parties acknowledge that this Order does not confer blanket protections on all disclosures during discovery, or in the course of making initial or supplemental disclosures under Rule 26(a). Designations under this Order shall be made with care and shall not be made absent a good faith belief that the designated material satisfies the criteria set forth below. If it comes to a Producing Party's attention that designated material does not qualify for protection at all, or does not qualify for the level of protection initially asserted, the Producing Party must promptly notify all other Parties that it is withdrawing or changing the designation.
(a) "Discovery Material" means all items or information, including from any non-party, regardless of the medium or manner generated, stored, or maintained (including, among other things, documents, communications, testimony, transcripts, initial disclosures, responses to interrogatories and requests for admission, source code, and tangible things) that are produced, disclosed, or generated in connection with discovery in this case, including disclosures made pursuant to Rule 26(a) or Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
(b) "Outside Counsel" means (i) outside counsel who have entered an appearance as counsel for a Party, including counsel appearing as pro hac vice, and (ii) partners, associates, and staff of such outside counsel to whom it is reasonably necessary to disclose the Protected Material for this litigation.
(c) "Patents-in-suit" means U.S. Patent No. 6, 128, 415 and any other patent asserted in this action, as well as any related patents, patent applications, provisional patent applications, continuations, and/or divisionals.
(d) "Party" means any party to this case, including all of its officers, directors, employees, consultants, retained experts, and Outside Counsel.
(e) "Producing Party" means any Party or non-party that discloses or produces any Discovery Material in this case.
(f) "Protected Material" means any Discovery Material that is designated as "CONFIDENTIAL, " "CONFIDENTIAL -ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY, " or "CONFIDENTIAL - OUTSIDE ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY - SOURCE CODE, " as provided for in this Order. Protected Material shall not include, among other things: (i) advertising materials that have been actually published or publicly disseminated; or (ii) materials that show on their face they have been disseminated to the public.
(g) "Receiving Party" means any Party who receives Discovery Material from a Producing Party.
(h) "Source Code" means computer code, scripts, assembly, object code, source code listings and descriptions of source code, object code listings and descriptions of object code, and Hardware Description Language (HDL) or Register Transfer Level (RTL) files that describe the hardware design of any ASIC or other chip. Source code includes, without limitation, human-readable programming language text that defines software, firmware, electronic hardware descriptions and/or instructions or schematics that define or otherwise describe in detail the algorithms or structure of software or hardware. Source code documents at least include (1) printed documents that contain or describe in detail selected source code components (2) electronic communications and descriptive documents, such as emails, design documents and programming examples, which contain or describe in detail selected source code components ("described source code"); (3) electronic source code documents that reside in a source code repository from which software and related data files may be compiled, assembled, linked, executed, debugged and/or tested ("source code files"); and (4) transcripts, reports, video, audio, or other media that include, quote, cite, describe in detail source code, source code files, and/or the development hereof. Source code files include, but are not limited to documents containing source code in "C", "C", VHDL, Java, Java scripting languages, assembler languages, command languages and shell languages. Source code files may further include "header files", "make" files, project files, link files, and other human-readable text files used in the generation, compilation, translation, and/or building of executable software, including software intended for execution by an interpreter.
(i) "Final Determination" means the final resolution of all claims raised by either Party during the course of this litigation, whether by dismissal or by entry of judgment, including any and all appeals thereof.
3. COMPUTATION OF TIME
The computation of any period of time prescribed or allowed by this Order shall be governed by the provisions for computing time set forth in Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
(a) The protections conferred by this Order cover not only Discovery Material governed by this Order as addressed herein, but also any information copied or extracted therefrom, as well as all copies, excerpts, summaries, or compilations thereof, plus testimony, conversations, or presentations by Parties or their counsel in court or in other settings that might reveal Protected Material.
(b) Nothing in this Protective Order shall prevent or restrict a Producing Party's own disclosure or use of its own Protected Material for any purpose, and nothing in this Order shall preclude any Producing Party from showing its Protected Material to an individual who prepared the Protected Material.
(c) Nothing in this Order shall be construed to prejudice any Party's right to use any Protected Material in court or in any court filing with the consent of the Producing Party or by order of the Court.
(d) This Order is without prejudice to the right of any Party to seek further or additional protection of any Discovery Material or to modify this Order in any way, including, without limitation, an order that certain matter not be produced at all.
Even after the termination of this case, the confidentiality obligations imposed by this Order shall remain in effect until a Producing Party agrees otherwise in writing or a court order otherwise directs.
6. ACCESS TO AND USE OF PROTECTED MATERIAL
(a) Basic Principles. All Protected Material shall be used solely for this case or any related appellate proceeding, and not for any other purpose whatsoever, including without limitation any other litigation, patent prosecution or acquisition, patent reexamination or reissue proceedings, or any business or competitive purpose or function. Protected Material shall not be distributed, disclosed or made available to anyone except as expressly provided in this Order. Plaintiff shall not share Protected Material produced by one Defendant with any other Defendant in the above-identified actions, absent express written permission from the producing Defendant. This Order does not confer any right to any one Defendant to access the Protected Material of any other Defendant.
(b) Patent Prosecution/Acquision Bar. Absent written consent from the Producing Party, any individual who receives access to "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL - ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY" or "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL- SOURCE CODE" information shall not be involved in the prosecution or acquisition of patents or patent applications, or in the acquisition of patent rights, relating to digital imaging technology, including without limitation the patents asserted in this action and any patent or application claiming priority to or otherwise related to the patents asserted in this action, before any foreign or domestic agency, including the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("the Patent Office"). For purposes of this paragraph, "prosecution" includes directly or indirectly drafting, amending, advising, or otherwise affecting the scope or maintenance of patent claims. To avoid any doubt, "prosecution" as used in this paragraph does not include representing a party challenging a patent before a domestic or foreign agency (including, but not limited to, a reissue protest, ex parte reexamination or inter partes reexamination). This Prosecution Bar shall begin when access to "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL - ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY" or "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL - SOURCE CODE" information is first received by the affected individual and shall end two (2) years after final termination of this action.
(c) Secure Storage. Protected Material must be stored and maintained by a Receiving Party at a location within the United States and in a secure manner that ensures that access is limited to the persons authorized under this Order.
(d) Legal Advice Based on Protected Material. Nothing in this Protective Order shall be construed to prevent counsel from advising their clients with respect to this case based in whole or in part upon Protected Materials or the contents thereof, provided counsel does not disclose the Protected Material or its contents, itself except as provided in this Order.
(e) Limitations. Nothing in this Order shall restrict in any way a Producing Party's use or disclosure of its own Protected Material. Nothing in this Order shall restrict in any way the use or disclosure of Discovery Material by a Receiving Party: (i) that is or has become publicly known through no fault of the Receiving Party; (ii) that is lawfully acquired by or known to the Receiving Party independent of the Producing Party; (iii) previously produced, disclosed and/or provided by the Producing Party to the Receiving Party or a non-party without an obligation of confidentiality and not by inadvertence or mistake; (iv) with the consent of the Producing Party; or (v) pursuant to order of the Court.
7. DESIGNATING PROTECTED MATERIAL
(a) Available Designations. Any Producing Party may designate Discovery Material with any of the following designations, provided that it meets the requirements for such designations as provided for herein: "CONFIDENTIAL, " "CONFIDENTIAL - ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY, " or "CONFIDENTIAL - OUTSIDE ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY - SOURCE CODE."
(b) Written Discovery and Documents and Tangible Things. Written discovery, documents (which include "electronically stored information, " as that phrase is used in Federal Rule of Procedure 34), and tangible things that meet the requirements for the confidentiality designations listed in Paragraph 7(a) may be so designated by placing the appropriate designation on every page of the written material prior to production. For digital files being produced, the Producing Party may mark each viewable page or image with the appropriate designation, and mark the medium, container, and/or communication in which the digital files were contained. In the event that original documents are produced for inspection, the original documents shall be presumed "CONFIDENTIAL - ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY" during the inspection and re-designated by the Producing Party, as appropriate during the copying process.
(c) Depositions and Testimony. Parties or testifying persons or entities may designate depositions and other testimony with the appropriate designation by indicating on the record at the time the testimony is given or by sending written notice of how portions of the transcript of the testimony is designated within thirty (30) days of receipt of the transcript of the testimony. All information disclosed during a deposition for which no designation was made on the record shall be deemed "CONFIDENTIAL - ATTORNEYS' EYES ONLY" until the time within which it may be appropriately designated as provided for herein has passed. Any Party that wishes to disclose the transcript, or information contained therein, may provide written notice of its intent to treat the transcript as non-confidential, after which time, any Party that wants to maintain any portion of the transcript as confidential must designate the confidential portions within fourteen (14) days, or else the transcript may be treated as non-confidential. Any Protected Material that is used in the taking of a deposition shall remain subject to the provisions of this Protective Order, along with the transcript pages of the deposition testimony dealing with such Protected Material. In such cases the court reporter shall be informed of this Protective Order and shall be required to operate in a manner consistent with this Protective Order. In the event the deposition is videotaped, the original and all copies of the videotape shall be marked by the video technician to indicate that the contents of the videotape are subject to this Protective Order, substantially along the lines of "This videotape contains confidential testimony used in this case and is not to be viewed or the contents thereof to be displayed or revealed except pursuant to the terms of the operative Protective Order in this matter or pursuant to written stipulation of the parties." Counsel for any Producing Party shall have the right to exclude from oral depositions, other than the deponent, deponent's counsel, the reporter and videographer (if any), any person who is not authorized by this Protective Order to receive or access Protected Material based on the designation of such Protected Material. Such right of exclusion shall be applicable only during periods of examination or testimony regarding such Protected Material.
(d) Documents Produced in Native Form
(i) Where electronic files and documents are produced in native electronic format, such electronic files and documents shall be designated for protection under this Order by appending to the file names or designators information indicating whether the file contains "CONFIDENTIAL, " "CONFIDENTIAL - ATTORNEYS EYES ONLY, " or "CONFIDENTIAL - OUTSIDE ATTORNEYS EYES ONLY - SOURCE CODE" material, or shall use any other reasonable method for so designating Protected Materials produced in electronic format.
(ii) When electronic files or documents are printed for use at deposition, in a court proceeding, or for provision in printed form to an expert or consultant pre-approved pursuant to paragraph 12, the party printing the electronic files or documents shall affix a legend to the printed document corresponding to the designation of the Producing ...