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

United States District Court, N.D. California

July 9, 2015



SAMUEL CONTI, District Judge.


Now before the Court is Defendants uCool, Inc. and uCool LTD's ("uCool") motion to compel particularized trade secret disclosure by Plaintiff Lilith Games Co. ("Lilith"). ECF No. 45 ("MTC"). The motion is fully briefed[1] and appropriate for resolution without oral argument under Civil Local Rule 7-1(b). The hearing scheduled for August 14, 2015 is VACATED.

In its motion and supporting papers, uCool asks the court to compel Lilith to "to disclose its trade secrets with adequate particularity" and to bar "Lilith from taking discovery until such productions are made" pursuant to section 2019.210 of the California Code of Civil Procedure. MTC at 15. Because Lilith has already disclosed its trade secrets with adequate particularity, uCool's motion is DENIED. Further, Lilith is not barred from taking discovery.


Plaintiff Lilith is a video game developer that released the game Dao Ta Chuan Qi (translated as "Sword and Tower")[2] in China in February 2014. Lilith claims to own the copyrights in Sword and Tower's source code and to possess Chinese copyright registrations. 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 an American video game marketer who allegedly used the copyrighted software code for Sword and Tower to create its own game, Heroes Charge, which it published in the United States in August 2014. According to Lilith's complaint, Sword and Tower and Heroes Charge both involve the same ideas, and their expression of those ideas is virtually identical. In addition, Heroes Charge allegedly includes a portion of Lilith's code that triggers Lilith's copyright notice to appear at a certain point while playing Heroes Charge.

In its first claim for relief for copyright infringement, 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. Because Sword and Tower is not a United States work as defined in 17 U.S.C. § 101, Lilith brings its copyright infringement claim under the Berne Convention, an international agreement governing copyright, to which both the United States and China are signatories.

In its second claim for relief, Lilith alleges that 240, 000 lines of software code embodied in Sword and Tower are a trade secret and that uCool knowingly misappropriated that trade secret in violation of California's Uniform Trade Secrets Act (Cal. Civ. Code § 3426, et seq.) when it allegedly used Lilith's code to create Heroes Charge. Lilith claims to maintain the Sword and Tower source code confidentially, limiting access only to those employees who need access to perform their duties.[3]

Lilith's third, fourth, and fifth claims for relief allege violations of California's Unfair Competition Law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, et seq.). Specifically, Lilith claims that by misappropriating Lilith's trade secrets, uCool engaged in unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices.


Lilith filed its first amended complaint on April 8, 2015. ECF No. 20 ("FAC"). On April 22, 2015, Lilith filed a motion for preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin uCool from reproducing, copying, preparing any derivative works, or distributing any of Lilith's trade secrets or copyrights allegedly contained in uCool's video game, Heroes Charge. ECF No. 30 ("Prel. Inj. Mot.").

On June 4, 2015 and again on June 18, 2015, the Court continued the hearing on Lilith's motion for preliminary injunction until August 15, 2015 in order to allow the parties to take limited discovery in preparation for the preliminary injunction hearing. ECF Nos. 48, 58.

The parties held a Rule 26(f) conference on May 26, 2015, and discovery commenced immediately thereafter. uCool, however, has not responded to Lilith's discovery requests because it claims that Lilith is barred from taking discovery until Lilith provides a more particularized description of its trade secrets. As explained below, Lilith is not barred from ...

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