United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR LEAVE TO SEEK LIMITED
LABSON FREEMAN United States District Judge.
Twitch Interactive, Inc. (“Twitch”) brings this
action against Defendants for allegedly providing bot
services that artificially inflate broadcaster popularity
statistics in the gaming community, in an attempt to qualify
for compensation through Twitch's program. Compl.
¶¶ 1-2, ECF 1. Twitch now moves for leave to seek
limited discovery on Defendants Michael and Katherine Anjomi
(the “Anjomis”) and third-party payment service
providers and financial institutions associated with
Defendants Erik Bouchoev, the Anjomis, and Alex Renfrow
(collectively, “Defendants”). Mot., ECF 43.
Defendants have failed to appear and the motion is unopposed.
Pursuant to Civ. L.R. 7-1(b), the Court finds Twitch's
motion suitable for submission without oral argument and
hereby VACATES the hearing scheduled for July 13, 2017. For
the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS Twitch's
broadcasts gaming-related content over the Internet and
provides forums for users to play, stream, watch, and discuss
video games. E.g., Compl. ¶¶ 1, 21-31.
Twitch also evaluates individual broadcasters' popularity
by tracking, among other things, how many people view the
broadcaster's stream, and rewards popular broadcasters by
sharing revenue through its Partnership Program. Id.
¶¶ 1, 2, 21-31. According to Twitch's
complaint, Defendants operated bot services that falsely
inflate usage in order to deceive Twitch into believing that
certain broadcasters are more popular than they really are.
Id. ¶ 3, 43-51. Twitch also alleges that it
found that Defendants used third-party payment services such
as PayPal to facilitate financial transactions with
individuals who purchase these bot services. See,
e.g., id., Ex. D at 2, 7; id., Ex. B
at 7; id., Ex. G at 4; see also Simpkins
Decl.”) ¶ 2-4, ECF 43-2; Exs. A-C, ECF 43-3
(screen captures of relevant websites showing that Defendants
further alleges that Defendants advertised their services
using the Twitch trademarks in a manner that is likely to
deceive consumers about the services' affiliations with
Twitch, and violated Twitch's Terms and Guidelines to
which Defendants agreed when they created accounts with
Twitch or otherwise accessed the Twitch website. See
Compl. ¶¶ 34, 69, 79, 120; Exs. B, B-II, D, D-II,
2016, Twitch filed suit against Defendants for various claims
including trademark infringement, 15 U.S.C. § 1114;
unfair competition, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a); cybersquatting;
and breach of contract. Compl. ¶¶ 122-45, 155-64.
Over the course of several months, Twitch attempted to locate
and personally serve Defendants without much success.
See Twitch's Mot. for Alternative Service of
Process, ECF 29. This Court then granted Twitch leave to
serve certain Defendants by alternative means. ECF 33. Twitch
successfully served those Defendants on January 24, 2017. ECF
35. Defendants Bouchouev, the Anjomis, and Renfrow did not
respond to the Complaint, and the Clerk entered default as to
them on March 8, 2017. ECF 41.
pending before the Court is Twitch's motion for leave to
conduct limited discovery to obtain information in support of
a future motion for default judgment against Defendants,
specifically for information on damages associated with at
least the following claims: trademark infringement, unfair
competition, cybersquatting, and breach of contract. Mot. 2.
scope and limitations of discovery are set forth by the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 26 provides in
pertinent part that:
Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of
discovery is as follows: Parties may obtain discovery
regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any
party's claim or defense-including the existence,
description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any
documents or other tangible things and the identity and
location of persons who know of any discoverable matter. For
good cause, the court may order discovery of any matter
relevant to the subject matter involved in the action.
Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if
the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the
discovery of admissible evidence. All discovery is subject to
the limitations imposed by Rule 26(b)(2)(C).
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1).
courts have broad discretion in granting or denying
discovery. Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732, 751 (9th
Cir.2002) (“broad discretion is vested in the trial
court to permit or deny discovery, and its decision to deny
discovery will not be disturbed except upon the clearest
showing that denial of discovery results in actual and
substantial prejudice to the complaining litigant”).
Rule 26(d)(1) provides that “[a] party may not seek
discovery from any source before the parties have conferred
as required by Rule 26(f), except . . . when authorized by
these rules, by stipulation, or by court order.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(d). Courts apply a “good cause”
standard in considering motions to expedite discovery.
Semitool, Inc. v. Tokyo Electron Am., Inc., 208
F.R.D. 273, 276 (N.D. Cal. 2002); see also Am. LegalNet,
Inc. v. Davis, 673 F.Supp.2d 1063, 1066 (C.D. Cal.
2009); In re Countrywide Fin.Corp. Derivative
Litig., 542 F.Supp.2d 1160, 1179 (C.D. Cal. 2008). Good
cause may be found where the need for expedited discovery, in
consideration of the administration of justice, outweighs the
prejudice to the responding party. Semitool, 208
F.R.D. at 276.
cause for expedited discovery is frequently found in cases
involving claims of infringement and unfair competition or in
cases where the plaintiff seeks a preliminary injunction.
Id.; Pod-Ners, LLC v. N. Feed & Bean of
Lucerne Ltd. Liability Co., 204 F.R.D. 675, 676 (D.
Colo. 2002). Good cause may also exist in cases where a
defendant has failed to appear, resulting in the entry of
default against the defendant, and the plaintiff is in need
of evidence to establish damages. See Sheridan v. Oak
Street Mortg., LLC, ...