United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER RE MOTIONS TO FILE UNDER SEAL RE: DKT. NOS. 38,
JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY United States Magistrate Judge
dispute arises out of pending patent litigation in Delaware
District Court brought by The Gillette Company
(“Gillette”) against Defendants Dorco Company,
Ltd. (“Dorco”), Pace Shave, Inc.
(“Pace”) and Dollar Shave Club, Inc.
(“DSC”) (collectively, “Defendants”).
See The Gillette Company v. Dollar Shave Club Inc., et
al., Civil Action No. 1:15-cv-01158 (D. Del.) (the
“Delaware Action”). On June 2, 2017, the Court
denied Gillette's motion to transfer, stayed
Defendants' motion to quash the third party subpoenas for
60 days, and ordered a further hearing on the motion to
quash. The Court also ordered the submission of a joint
discovery letter and re-submittal of the parties' motions
to file under seal. (Dkt. No. 35.) Pending before the Court
are the parties' renewed motions to file under seal.
(Dkt. Nos. 38 and 39.) Having considered the parties'
submissions, the Court GRANTS both renewed motions to file
Terry L. Witt (“Wit”) and Morgan W. Tovey
(“Tovey”) (collectively, “Movants”)
moved to quash deposition subpoenas (the
“Subpoenas”) served by Gillette in the Delaware
Action, or for a protective order barring any deposition of
Movants. (Dtk. No. 10.) Movants are trial co-counsel for
Defendants in the Delaware Action. The Subpoenas seek facts
regarding two prior settlement agreements and related
negotiations between Gillette, Dorco, and Pace. Defendant
Pace joined Movants' motion to quash. (Dtk. No. 6.)
Gillette moved to transfer Movants' motion to quash to
Delaware. (Dtk. No. 24.) Movants, Pace, and Gillette all
sought to file certain documents under seal. (Dtk. Nos. 10,
16, 21, 27.)
2, 2017, the Court denied Gillette's motion to transfer,
stayed Defendants' motion to quash for 60 days, ordered a
further hearing on the motion to quash, a joint discovery
letter, and re-submittal of the parties' motions to file
under seal. (Dkt. No. 35.) The parties submitted their
renewed motions on June 7, 2017.
is a presumption of public access to judicial records and
documents. Nixon v. Warner Commc'ns, Inc., 435
U.S. 589, 597 (1978). “It is well-established that the
fruits of pre-trial discovery are, in the absence of a court
order to the contrary, presumptively public. [Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure] 26(c) authorizes a district court to
override this presumption where ‘good cause' is
shown.” San Jose Mercury News, Inc. v. U.S. Dist.
Ct., 187 F.3d 1096, 1103 (9th Cir. 1999). Sealing is
appropriate only where the requesting party
“establishes that the document, or portions thereof is
privileged or protectable as a trade secret or otherwise
entitled to protection under the law.” N.D. Cal. Civ.
L.R. 79-5(a). A party may meet this burden by showing that
the information sought to be withheld creates a risk of
significant competitive injury and particularized harm.
See Phillips v. Gen Motors Corp., 307 F.3d 1206,
1211 (9th Cir. 2006). A party may also meet this burden by
establishing that the information contains trade secrets that
create a risk of significant competitive injury and
particularized harm, see Apple, Inc. v. Psystar
Corp., 658 F.3d 1150, 1161-62 (9th Cir. 2011) (citation
omitted), or where disclosure of the information would
violate a party's legitimate privacy interest that
similarly leads to such risk, see, e.g.,
Landmark Screens, LLC v. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
LLP, No. C08-2581 JF (HRL), 2010 WL 3221859, at *5 (N.D.
Cal. Aug. 13, 2010). Whatever the grounds, a party must
“narrowly tailor” its request to sealable
material only. Id.
seek to seal portions of Movants' motion to quash, the
Eiseman declaration, the Witt declaration, Exhibits 4, 5, 6,
7, 9, 15, 18, 19 to the Eiseman declaration, Pace's
joinder, Movants' reply brief and the Eiseman reply
declaration. (Dkt. No. 38-1.) Movants also seek to seal
Exhibits 2, 3, 11, 12, 14, 20 to the Eiseman declaration in
their entirety. (Id.) Movants contend that the
redacted information contains "specific terms found in
confidential agreements between the relevant parties and the
negotiations thereto, and details of proceedings between the
relevant parties that are subject to confidentiality
agreements." (Id.) Exhibits 2 and 3 are
settlement agreements that Movants submit contain
"sensitive business information and confidential terms
between the relevant parties." (Id. at 3.)
Movants state that the disclosure of this competitively
sensitive business information will harm Pace's ability
to conduct business. (Id. at 8.)
seeks to seal portions of its opposition to Movants'
motion to quash, the DeJong declaration, Exhibits 1, 3, 4, 5,
6, and 7 to the DeJong declaration, and its reply brief to
the motion to transfer. Gillette also seeks to file exhibit
2, A and B to exhibit 3, and exhibits 10-16 in their entirety
under seal, which include a witness statement, two
confidential settlement agreements, and confidential
correspondence related to the settlement negotiations.
Gillette argues that these materials extensively discuss or
reflect the confidential agreements between the relevant
parties. Gillette believes their disclosure would harm its
ability to conduct business.
careful review of Movants' and Gillette's submitted
documentation, this Court agrees that the revised redacted
material concerns sensitive business information regarding
settlement negotiations and agreements between the parties.
As such, the Court finds good cause to seal this sensitive
information. See San Jose Mercury News, 187 F.3d at
reasons explained above, the Court GRANTS Movants' and
Gillette's motions to file under seal. This order
disposes of Docket Nos. 38 and 39.