Phoenix Technologies Ltd. v. VMware, Inc.

Northern District of California, cand-4:2015-cv-01414

ORDER by Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART THE PARTIES ADMINISTRATIVE ({{181}}, {{182}}, {{230}}, {{247}}, {{279}}, {{280}}) MOTIONS TO FILE UNDER SEAL.

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 PHOENIX TECHNOLOGIES LTD., 7 Case No. 15-cv-01414-HSG Plaintiff, 8 ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND v. DENYING IN PART THE PARTIES' 9 ADMINISTRATIVE MOTIONS TO VMWARE, INC., FILE UNDER SEAL 10 Defendant. Re: Dkt. Nos. 181, 182, 230, 247, 279, 280 11 12 Pending before the Court are several administrative motions to file various documents Northern District of California United States District Court 13 under seal pursuant to Civil Local Rule 79-5, relating to Plaintiff Phoenix Technologies' 14 ("Plaintiff") and Defendant VMware, Inc.'s ("Defendant") motions in limine ("MIL") and 15 charging conference statements. See Dkt. Nos. 181, 182, 230, 247, 279, 280. No oppositions to 16 the motions were filed. Having carefully considered each of the requested redactions, the Court 17 GRANTS IN PART and DENIES IN PART the administrative motions to seal. 18 I. LEGAL STANDARD 19 Courts generally apply a "compelling reasons" standard when considering motions to seal 20 documents. Pintos v. Pac. Creditors Ass'n, 605 F.3d 665, 677-78 (9th Cir. 2010). "This standard 21 derives from the common law right 'to inspect and copy public records and documents, including 22 judicial records and documents.'" Id. (quoting Kamakana v. City & Cnty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 23 1172, 1178 (9th Cir. 2006)). "[A] strong presumption in favor of access is the starting point." 24 Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1178 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). To overcome this 25 strong presumption, the moving party must "articulate compelling reasons supported by specific 26 factual findings that outweigh the general history of access and the public policies favoring 27 disclosure, such as the public interest in understanding the judicial process." Id. at 1178-79 28 (citations, internal quotation marks, and alterations omitted). "In general, compelling reasons 1 sufficient to outweigh the public's interest in disclosure and justify sealing court records exist 2 when such court files might have become a vehicle for improper purposes, such as the use of 3 records to gratify private spite, promote public scandal, circulate libelous statements, or release 4 trade secrets." Id. at 1179 (citation and internal quotation marks omitted). The court must 5 "balance the competing interests of the public and the party who seeks to keep certain judicial 6 records secret. After considering these interests, if the court decides to seal certain judicial 7 records, it must base its decision on a compelling reason and articulate the factual basis for its 8 ruling, without relying on hypothesis or conjecture." Id. (citations, brackets, and internal 9 quotation marks omitted). 10 Civil Local Rule 79-5 supplements the "compelling reasons" standard. The party seeking 11 to file under seal must "establish[ ] that the document, or portions thereof, are privileged, 12 protectable as a trade secret or otherwise entitled to protection under the law. . . . The request must Northern District of California United States District Court 13 be narrowly tailored to seek sealing only of sealable material. . . ." Civ. L.R. 79-5(b). 14 Finally, records attached to motions that are only "tangentially related to the merits of a 15 case" are not subject to the strong presumption of access. Ctr. for Auto Safety v. Chrysler Grp., 16 LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 1101 (9th Cir. 2016). Accordingly, parties moving to seal such records must 17 meet the lower "good cause" standard of Rule 26(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Id. at 18 1097. The "good cause" standard requires a "particularized showing" that "specific prejudice or 19 harm will result" if the information is disclosed. Phillips ex rel. Estates of Byrd v. Gen. Motors 20 Corp., 307 F.3d 1206, 1210-11 (9th Cir. 2002) (citation and internal quotation marks omitted); see 21 also Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c). 22 II. DISCUSSION 23 Here, the Court applies the "compelling reasons" standard because the documents at issue 24 have more than a tangential relation to the merits of the case. See Ctr. for Auto Safety, 809 F.3d at 25 1099 (stating that "plenty of technically non-dispositive motions—including routine motions in 26 limine—are strongly correlative to the merits of a case."). The Court rules as follows: 27 // 28 // 2 Motion Document Ruling Reason 1 181 Plaintiff's MIL No. 2 GRANTED Confidential Business Agreement. 181 Plaintiff's MIL No. 3 DENIED as to 2:21; 3:10-12; No Declaration in Support 2 3:21-22; 3:27; 4:1; 181 Declaration of Whitty GRANTED as to 93:17-95:11 Confidential Business Agreement. 3 Somvichian in Support of Plaintiff's MIL ("Somvichian 4 Decl."), Exhibit 4 181 Somvichian Decl., Exhibit 5 DENIED No Declaration in Support 5 181 Somvichian Decl., Exhibit 6 DENIED No Declaration in Support 181 Somvichian Decl., Exhibit 7 GRANTED Confidential Business Information. 6 181 Somvichian Decl., Exhibit 8 GRANTED as to 111:12, Confidential Business Information. 111:18-113:21; 127:15 7 181 Somvichian Decl., Exhibit 11 GRANTED Confidential Business Agreement. 181 Somvichian Decl., Exhibit 12 GRANTED Confidential Business Information. 8 181 Somvichian Decl., Exhibit 14 DENIED as to 2:1-28 No Declaration in Support 9 DENIED as to rest of Exhibit 182 Defendant's MIL #1 DENIED as to 3:7-9; 3:15-17; No Declaration in Support. 10 3:21-22; 3:27; 4:25; 4:25-26 182 Defendant's MIL #2 GRANTED as to 1:19; 2:24-28 No Declaration in Support 11 182 Defendant's MIL #3 GRANTED as to 1:20; 1:21; Confidential Business Information. 1:22 12 182 Defendant's MIL #4 GRANTED as to 1:8; 1:9; 1:10; Confidential Business Information. Northern District of California 2:23; 2:24 United States District Court 13 182 Defendant's MIL #5 GRANTED as to 1:12; 1:13; Confidential Business Information. 2:13; 2:15 14 182 Declaration of Michael A. DENIED No Declaration in Support Jacobs in Support of 15 Defendant's MIL # 1-5 ("Jacobs Decl."), Exhibit 2 16 182 Jacobs Decl., Exhibit 3 DENIED No Declaration in Support 182 Jacobs Decl., Exhibit 4 DENIED No Declaration in Support 17 182 Jacobs Decl., Exhibit 5 DENIED No Declaration in Support 182 Jacobs Decl., Exhibit 7 DENIED No Declaration in Support 18 182 Jacobs Decl., Exhibit 9 DENIED No Declaration in Support 182 Jacobs Decl., Exhibit 10 DENIED No Declaration in Support 19 182 Jacobs Decl., Exhibit 13 DENIED No Declaration in Support 182 Jacobs Decl., Exhibit 16 GRANTED Confidential Business Information. 20 182 Jacobs Decl., Exhibit 17 GRANTED Confidential Business Information. 182 Jacobs Decl., Exhibit 18 GRANTED Confidential Business Information. 182 Jacobs Decl., Exhibit 21 GRANTED as to 409:1-15, Confidential Business Information. 21 409:22-410:1, 410:5-15, 410:24-411:4, 411:12-18, 22 411:23-412:3, 412:6, 413:14 182 Jacobs Decl., Exhibit 22 DENIED No Declaration in Support 23 182 Jacobs Decl., Exhibit 23 DENIED No Declaration in Support 230 Defendant's Opposition to GRANTED as to 1:2-3; 1:22- Confidential Business Information. 24 Plaintiff's MIL No. 2 24; 2:4; 3:3; 3:4-5; 3:7; 3:10- 11; 3:28-4:4; 4:13; 4:27; and 25 5:1 230 Defendant's Opposition to DENIED as to 1:4-6; 1:7-9 No Declaration in Support 26 Plaintiff's MIL No. 4 230 Defendant's Opposition to DENIED as to 1:8-12; 1:14-15 No Declaration in Support 27 Plaintiff's MIL No. 5 230 Declaration of Michael A. GRANTED as to 333:20-335:6 Confidential Business Information. 28 Jacobs in Opposition to 3 Plaintiff's MIL Nos. 1-5 1 ("Jacobs Decl. in Opposition"), Exhibit 12 2 230 Jacobs Decl. in Opposition, GRANTED Confidential Business Agreement. Exhibit 13 3 230 Jacobs Decl. in Opposition, GRANTED as to 227:11-229:2 Confidential Business Information. Exhibit 14 4 230 Jacobs Decl. in Opposition, GRANTED Confidential Business Agreement. Exhibit 15 5 230 Jacobs Decl. in Opposition, GRANTED Confidential Business Agreement. Exhibit 18 6 230 Jacobs Decl. in Opposition, DENIED No Declaration in Support Exhibit 21 7 230 Jacobs Decl. in Opposition, DENIED as to 50:1-51:25 No Declaration in Support Exhibit 22 8 230 Jacobs Decl. in Opposition, GRANTED Proprietary Third Party Information. Exhibit 25 9 230 Jacobs Decl. in Opposition, DENIED as to 44:1-48:25 No Declaration in Support Exhibit 26 10 230 Jacobs Decl. in Opposition, DENIED No Declaration in Support Exhibit 30 11 230 Jacobs Decl. in Opposition, DENIED as to 45:1-48:25 No Declaration in Support Exhibit 36 12 230 Jacobs Decl. in Opposition, DENIED No Declaration in Support Northern District of California Exhibit 38 United States District Court 13 247 Plaintiff's Opposition to GRANTED as to 5:6-7; 5:n.3; Confidential Commercial Defendant's MIL No. 5 5:n.5 Information. 14 247 Declaration of Whitty DENIED No Declaration in Support. Somvichian in Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to 15 Defendant's MIL Nos. 1-5, Exhibit 77 16 279 Trial Exhibit 163 DENIED No Declaration in Support 280 VMware's Charging DENIED as to 8:10 8:13-16 No Declaration in Support 17 Conference Statement 280 Gonzalez Exhibit 1 DENIED as to 122:7 122:17-18 No Declaration in Support 18 123:3 123:6 123:8 124:2 19 // 20 // 21 // 22 // 23 // 24 // 25 // 26 // 27 // 28 // 4 1 III. CONCLUSION 2 While Civil Local Rule 79-5(f)(3) typically requires the parties to file all required revised 3 redacted versions within 7 days, in the interest of receiving all revised documents in advance of 4 the April 17, 2017 charging conference, the parties are ORDERED to file all revised documents 5 by 5:00 p.m. on April 12, 2017. In addition, while VMware attorney Krystia Przepiorski provided 6 a specific reason for sealing Exhibits 19 and 20 to the Declaration of Michael A. Jacobs in 7 Opposition to Plaintiff's MIL Nos. 1-5, see Dkt. No. 230-2, such a request was not included in the 8 motion to seal itself, see Dkt. No. 230. The Court will thus allow VMware the opportunity to file 9 such a request by 5:00 p.m. on April 12, 2017, if it chooses to do so. 10 IT IS SO ORDERED. 11 Dated: 4/10/2017 12 ______________________________________ Northern District of California United States District Court HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. 13 United States District Judge 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5