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Zest IP Holdings, LLC v. Implant Direct Mfg., LLC

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

January 14, 2014

ZEST IP HOLDINGS, LLC and ZEST ANCHORS, LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
IMPLANT DIRECT MFG., LLC, IMPLANT DIRECT LLC, and IMPLANT DIRECT INT'L, Defendants.

ORDER: 1. GRANTING MOTIONS TO FILE DOCUMENTS UNDER SEAL [DKT. NOS. 122, 257, 281, 292, 302, 307, 313] 2. DENYING MOTION TO FILE DOCUMENTS UNDER SEAL [KET. No. 326].

GONZALO P. CURIEL, District Judge.

Before the Court are numerous motions to seal, filed by both parties. (Dkt. Nos. 122, 257, 281, 292, 302, 307, 313.) The parties move to seal both their own confidential information as well as information that was produced by other parties under the designations "Confidential" and "Confidential - For Counsel Only" pursuant to the parties' stipulated protective order, (Dkt. No. 30).

LEGAL STANDARD

Historically, courts have recognized a "general right to inspect and copy public records and documents, including judicial records and documents." Kamakana v. City and Cnty. of Honolulu , 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Nixon v. Warner Communs., Inc. , 435 U.S. 589, 597 (1978)). Parties seeking to seal 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 favoring disclosure. Id. at 1178-79.

Records attached to non-dispositive motions, however, are not subject to the strong presumption of access. Because the documents attached to non-dispositive motions "are often unrelated, or only tangentially related, to the underlying cause of action, " parties moving to seal must meet the lower "good cause" standard of Rule 26(c). Id. at 1179. A blanket protective order is not itself sufficient to show good cause for sealing particular documents. See Foltz v. State Farm Mutual Auto. Ins. Co. , 331 F.3d 1122, 1133 (9th Cir. 2003) ("[A] party seeking the protection of the court via a blanket protective order typically does not make a good cause' showing required by Rule 26(c) with respect to any particular document."); see also Kamakana , 447 F.3d at 1183; Beckman Indus., Inc., 966 F.2d at 475-76.

DISCUSSION

The Court has considered each of the documents the parties have designated for sealing and, as articulated in the table below, determined which documents may remain under seal or redacted and which documents must be unsealed.

Dkt. Request Result No. 122 Exhibits to Declaration Plaintiffs' request on behalf of Defendants to of Manuel J. Velez in seal Exhibits 3-6, 8-10, 21, and 23, containing support of Plaintiffs' records of Implant Direct internal Motion for Spoliation communications and excerpted deposition and Discovery Abuses testimony, is GRANTED as potentially Sanctions prejudicial business information consistentwith the protective order entered by the Courton April 28, 2011. 257 Exhibit to Declaration of Defendants' request on behalf of Plaintiffs to Christopher J. Drugger in seal Exhibit 1, containing one page of the support of Defendants' expert report of John B. Brunski, is Opposition to Plaintiffs' GRANTED as proprietary information Motion to Strike consistent with the protective order entered by Invalidity Contentions the Court on April 28, 2011. 281 Memorandum of Points Defendants' request to seal Defendants' and Authorities in Memorandum of Points and Authorities and Support of Defendants' Exhibits 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7, containing expert Motion to Clarify or report excerpts, deposition excerpts, and Amend the Answer and Plaintiffs' interrogatory response excerpts, is Exhibits to the GRANTED as proprietary information Declaration of consistent with the protective order entered by Christopher Drugger the Court on April 28, 2011. 292 Exhibits to the Plaintiffs' request to seal Exhibits 5 and 6, Declaration of Manuel J. containing Plaintiffs' responses to Defendants Velez in support of interrogatories, is GRANTED as previously Plaintiffs' Opposition to sealed and containing potentially prejudicial Defendants' Motion to business or confidential proprietary Clarify or Amend information consistent with the protective Answer order entered by the Court on April 28, 2011. 302 Reply Memorandum of Defendants' request to seal Defendants' Points and Authorities in Memorandum of Points and Authorities and Support of Defendants' Exhibits 2-4, containing representative copies Motion to Clarify or of Plaintiffs' distribution agreements, is Amend the Answer, and GRANTED as proprietary information Exhibits to the Decl. of consistent with the protective order entered by Christopher Drugger the Court on April 28, 2011.

307 Memorandum of Points Defendants' request to seal Defendants' and Authorities in Memorandum of Points and Authorities and support of Defendants' Exhibits 13-14, containing representative Motion for copies of Plaintiffs' distribution agreements, is Reconsideration, the GRANTED as proprietary information Declaration of Dr. consistent with the protective order entered by Niznick, and Exhibits to the Court on April 28, 2011. the Declaration of Christopher Drugger Defendants further lodged the Declaration of Dr. Niznick and included Exhibit under seal as Exhibit 15 to the Declaration of Christopher Drugger. To the extent that Dr. Niznick's Declaration was not included in Defendants' Motion to Seal, (Dkt. No. 307), the Court declines to seal the Declaration and exhibit. 313 Memorandum of Points Plaintiffs' request to seal Plaintiffs' and Authorities in Memorandum of Points and Authorities and support of Plaintiffs' the declaration of Steve Schiess, Zest's Opposition to President and CEO, is GRANTED as Defendants' Motion for containing potentially prejudicial business or Reconsideration and confidential proprietary information consistent Declaration of Steve with the protective order entered by the Court Schiess on April 28, 2011. 326 Defendants' Objections Defendants' request is DENIED WITHOUT to Magistrate Judge PREJUDICE to refilling a narrowly-tailored Recommendation for request. Defendants seek to seal thirty one Adverse Jury Instruction pages of objections, two declarations, and and related Exhibits to twenty two exhibits with no explanation as to

the Declaration of why good cause exists to seal any of the Christopher Drugger documents.

CONCLUSION

For the foregoing reasons, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

1. The Motions to File Documents Under Seal (Dkt. Nos. 122, 257, 281, 292, 302, 313) are GRANTED. The documents now lodged at Dkt. Nos. 123, 258, 283, 290, 303, 314, and related attachments shall be FILED UNDER SEAL.
2. The incomplete Motion to File Documents Under Seal (Dkt. No. 307) is GRANTED. The documents now lodged at Dkt. Nos. 308, 308-1, and 308-2 shall be FILED UNDER SEAL. Defendants are GRANTED seven (7) days from the date this Order is electronically docketed to file a motion to seal the documents now lodged at Dkt. No. 308-3 and 308-4. The documents may remain lodged, pending Defendants' renewed motion to seal.
3. Defendants' Motion to File Documents Under Seal (Dkt. No. 326) is DENIED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. Defendants are GRANTED seven (7) days from the date this Order is electronically docketed to re-file a motion to seal the documents lodged at Dkt. Nos. 327 and 327-1 through 327-25. If Defendants fail to file an amended motion to seal within the time prescribed, the documents shall be stricken from the docket. The documents now lodged at Dkt. Nos. 327 and 327-1 through 327-25 may remain lodged, pending Defendants' renewed motion to seal.
4. The parties are directed to file public, redacted versions of all sealed documents by Friday, February 21, 2014.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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