United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER (DOCKET NO. 19)
J. KOPPE United States Magistrate Judge
February 15, 2017, Respondent filed a motion to seal, which
the Court denied without prejudice on February 16, 2017 for
failure to include points and authorities. Docket Nos. 5, 13.
On February 24, 2017, Respondent filed a renewed motion to
seal, which is now pending before the Court. Docket No. 19.
Petitioners do not oppose the motion. See Docket No.
34 at 3.
Ninth Circuit has held that there is a strong presumption of
public access to judicial records. See Kamakana v. City
& Cty. of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 1172, 1178 (9th Cir.
2006); Foltz v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 331
F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir. 2003). A party seeking to file
documents under seal bears the burden of overcoming that
presumption. Pintos v. Pac. Creditors Ass'n, 605
F.3d 665, 678 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting Kamakana, 447
F.3d at 1178).
standard applicable to a motion to seal turns on whether the
sealed materials are submitted in conjunction with a
dispositive, or a non-dispositive motion. Whether a motion is
“dispositive” turns on “whether the motion
at issue is more than tangentially related to the underlying
cause of action.” See Ctr. for Auto Safety v.
Chrysler Grp., LLC, 809 F.3d 1092, 1101 (9th Cir.),
cert. denied, 137 S.Ct. 38 (2016).
seeking to maintain the confidentiality of documents attached
to non-dispositive motions must make a “particularized
showing” of “good cause.” See
Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1180 (quoting Foltz, 331
F.3d at 1137). This requirement derives from Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 26(c), under which “[t]he court may,
for good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person
from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or
expense.” Id. (citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1)).
This includes, inter alia, “requiring that a
trade secret or other confidential research, development, or
commercial information not be revealed or be revealed only in
a specified way.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1)(G).
“Broad allegations of harm, unsubstantiated by specific
examples or articulated reasoning, do not satisfy the Rule
26(c) test.” Beckman Indus., Inc. v. Int'l Ins.
Co., 966 F.2d 470, 475 (9th Cir. 1992) (internal
other hand, parties “who seek to maintain the secrecy
of documents attached to dispositive motions must meet the
high threshold of showing that ‘compelling reasons'
support secrecy.” Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1180.
Those compelling reasons must outweigh the competing
interests of the public in having access to the judicial
records and understanding the judicial process. Id.
at 1178-79; see also Pintos, 605 F.3d at 679 &
n.6 (court must weigh “relevant factors, ”
including the public's interest in understanding the
to the extent any confidential information can be easily
redacted while leaving meaningful information available to
the public, the Court must order that redacted versions be
filed rather than sealing entire documents. Foltz,
331 F.3d at 1137; see also In re Roman Catholic
Archbishop of Portland in Or., 661 F.3d 417, 425 (9th
Cir. 2011) (the district court must “keep in mind the
possibility of redacting the sensitive material”).
seeks to seal portions of certain exhibits to
Petitioners' motion to compel. See, e.g., Docket
No. 19 at 5-6. Specifically, Respondent asks the Court to
seal certain documents attached to Petitioners' motion to
compel. Docket No. 1 at 145-160 and 172-173; Docket No. 1-1
at 1-12, 103-118. See, e.g., Id. The Court reviews
this motion under the good cause standard. See
Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1185-86; 3B Med., Inc. v.
Resmed Corp., 2016 WL 6818953, at *2 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 11,
2016) (applying the good cause standard in the context of a
motion to compel related to an underlying action in a
documents contain an Intellectual Property Purchase Agreement
between Respondent and a plaintiff in the underlying action;
detailed information regarding Respondent's payments for
intellectual property; Respondent's banking information
and specific transactions; and detailed information about
technology purchased by Respondent. See Docket No. 1
at 145-160; Docket No. 19 at 5. Respondent submits that
releasing the information contained in these documents would
harm it because future patent sellers could potentially use
the information to demand high prices for the purchase or
licensing of patents in the relevant area. See,
e.g., Docket No. 19-1 at 2. The Court finds that
Respondent has made a particularized showing of good cause to
seal these documents. See, e.g., Bartech
Int'l, Inc. v. Mobile Simple Sols., Inc., 2016 WL
2593920, at *2 (D. Nev. May 5, 2016) (sealing documents under
the more stringent compelling reasons standard because
releasing the information at issue would disadvantage the
plaintiff in future business negotiations, thereby causing it
to suffer competitive harm) (internal citation omitted).
documents contain various records of Respondent, e-mail
addresses, and detailed financial documents referencing
royalty payments that Respondent receives. See
Docket No. 1 at 172-173; Docket No. 1-1 at 1-12; Docket No.
19 at 5. Respondent submits that releasing the information
contained in these documents would harm it because
competitors could tailor their product offerings and pricing
to undercut Respondent in future dealings with the same
customers. See, e.g., Docket No. 19-1 at 2. The
Court finds that Respondent has made a particularized showing
of good cause to seal these documents. See, e.g.,
Tdn Money Sys., Inc., v. Global Cash Access, Inc.,
2016 WL 4708466, at *2 (D. Nev. Sept. 7, 2016) (sealing
documents under the more stringent compelling reasons
standard because disclosure of the ...