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Lilith Games (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. v. Ucool, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

June 4, 2015

LILITH GAMES (SHANGHAI) CO. LTD., Plaintiff,
v.
UCOOL, INC. AND UCOOL LTD., Defendants.

ORDER SETTING BRIEFING AND HEARING SCHEDULE FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION MOTION

SAMUEL CONTI, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

On April 3, 2015 Plaintiff Lilith Games (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. ("Lilith") filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction seeking to enjoin Defendants uCool, Inc. and uCool Ltd. (collectively "uCool")from reproducing, copying, preparing any derivative works, and/or distributing any of Lilith's trade secrets and/or copyrights allegedly contained in uCool's video game, Heroes Charge. ECF No. 17. On April 22, 2015, Lilith withdrew its motion and re-filed it on May 5, 2015. ECF No. 30 ("Prel. Inj. Mot."). On May 18, 2015, the Court stayed briefing on the motion for preliminary injunction pending resolution of three scheduling and discovery motions filed by uCool. Those motions are now before the Court: (1) Defendants' Motion to Enlarge Time to Oppose Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction (ECF No. 32) ("Mot. to Enlarge Time to Oppose"); (2) Defendants' Motion for Expedited Discovery to Respond to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction (ECF No. 33) ("Mot. for Exped. Disc."); and (3) Defendants' Motion to Shorten Time for Briefing and Hearing Regarding uCool's Motion for Expedited Discovery (ECF No. 34) ("Mot. to Shorten Time for Briefing").

Having considered the parties' moving and response papers, the Court finds these motions appropriate for decision without oral argument under Civil Local Rule 7-1(b) and hereby (1) GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART Defendant's Motion to Enlarge Time to Oppose Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction; (2) DENIES Defendants' Motion for Expedited Discovery to Respond to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction; and (3) DENIES as moot Defendants' Motion to Shorten Time for Briefing and Hearing Regarding uCool's Motion for Expedited Discovery.

II. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Lilith is a video game developer that released the game Dao Ta Chuan Qi (translated as "Sword and Tower")[1] in China in February 2014. Lilith claims to own the copyrights in Sword and Tower's computer software. Lilith also claims that it maintains the Sword and Tower source code as a trade secret. In March 2015, Lilith decided to release Sword and Tower in other countries including the United States, Japan, and certain European countries.

Defendant uCool is a game marketer who published the game Heroes Charge in the United States in August 2014.

Lilith filed its Complaint on March 18, 2015 and its First Amended Complaint on April 8, 2015. In its first claim for relief, Lilith alleges that uCool unlawfully gained access to Lilith's copyrighted computer software code embodied in Sword and Tower and copied it into the source code embodied in Heroes Charge, which in addition to allegedly containing the same source code, also allegedly contains the same or similar ideas and expressions of those ideas. Because Sword and Tower is not a United States work as defined in 17 U.S.C. Section 101, Lilith brings its copyright claim under the Berne Convention, an international agreement governing copyright. In Lilith's second claim for relief, Lilith claims that the Sword and Tower source code is also a trade secret and that uCool misappropriated that trade secret in violation of California's Uniform Trade Secrets Act, California Civil Code Section 3426, when it allegedly gained access to and used the Sword and Tower source code. Lilith's third, fourth, and fifth claims for relief allege that uCool engaged in an unlawful business practice in violation of California's Unfair Competition Law by misappropriating Lilith's trade secrets. Lilith seeks damages, fees and costs, injunctive relief, and other relief.

On April 3, 2015, Lilith filed a motion for preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin uCool from reproducing, copying, preparing any derivative works, and/or distributing any of Lilith's trade secrets and/or copyrights allegedly contained in Heroes Charge. On April 22, 2015, Lilith withdrew its motion and re-filed it on May 5, 2015. On May 11 and 12, uCool filed three discovery and scheduling motions related to Lilith's motion for preliminary injunction.[2] Consequently, the Court stayed briefing on Lilith's motion for preliminary injunction pending the resolution of uCool's three motions, which are now before the Court.[3]

Taken together, uCool's discovery and scheduling motions propose three alternative results as to the briefing, hearing, and discovery related to Lilith's motion for preliminary injunction:

(1) off-calendar Plaintiff Lilith's currently pending preliminary injunction motion, allow the parties to conduct discovery in the normal course, then reschedule the preliminary injunction hearing for a date in September that is convenient for the Court,
(2) allow uCool time to take expedited discovery on the preliminary injunction motion, uCool files an opposition to Lilith's motion on August 7, Lilith files a reply in support of its motion on August 14, and a hearing is held on August 28, or
(3) grant uCool an extension to at least July 17 to file its opposition.

Mot. for Exped. Disc. at i. Lilith opposes these motions and asks the Court to determine its motion for preliminary injunction on the papers and any live testimony permitted by the Court according to the original briefing and hearing schedule. Lilith also argues that uCool's motion for expedited discovery is now moot given that discovery ...


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