United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER (DOCKET NOS. 1, 10, 14, 42)
J. KOPPE United States Magistrate Judge.
before the Court is Petitioners' motion to compel AGS,
LLC to comply with Rule 45 subpoena issued in a related
proceeding in the Northern District of Illinois. Docket No.
1.Respondent filed a response and Petitioners
filed a reply. Docket Nos. 7, 16. Also pending before the
Court are Respondent's counter-motions to quash subpoena
and for protective order. Docket Nos. 10, 14. Petitioners
filed responses to these counter-motions and Respondent filed
replies. Docket Nos. 21, 22, 31, 32. The Court finds these
motions properly resolved without oral argument. See
Local Rule 78-1. For the reasons discussed below, the Court
DENIES without prejudice Petitioners' motion and
initiated this action on February 1, 2017. Docket No. 1.
Petitioners are defendants in an antitrust case pending in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois (“Illinois action”). Id. at
1-2. The lead plaintiff in the Illinois action, Shuffle Tech,
alleges that Petitioners unlawfully interfered with its
business relationship with a third party, DigiDeal, by
bringing sham patent litigation against DigiDeal in 2013.
Id. at 2. Shuffle Tech seeks approximately $100,
000, 000 in damages, before antitrust trebling. Id.
Petitioners submit that Respondent effectively replaced
Digideal vis-à-vis Shuffle Tech. See, e.g.,
id. Therefore, at Petitioners' request, the
Northern District of Illinois issued a subpoena to
Respondent, which listed Las Vegas, Nevada as the place of
compliance, on November 29, 2016. See, e.g.,
id. at 2, 86-92. Petitioners seek documents and
information from Respondent because they submit that if they
are found liable in the Illinois action, Respondent's
business relationship with Shuffle Tech will mitigate Shuffle
Tech's damages. See, e.g., id. When
Respondent refused to comply with the subpoena, Petitioners
filed a motion to compel in this District pursuant to Rule
Docket No. 1.
heart of Respondent's opposition to complying with the
subpoena is its contention that much of the information
Petitioners seek constitutes trade secrets and other
confidential commercial information. See, e.g.,
Docket No. 7 at 2, 12-17. Gonzales v. Google, Inc.
provides the relevant analytical framework for this issue.
234 F.R.D. 674, 684-86 (N.D. Cal. 2006). See also
Takiguchi v. MRI Int'l, Inc., 2013 WL 6528507, at
*11 (D. Nev. Dec. 11, 2013); Aevoe Corp. v. AE Tech Co.,
Ltd., 2013 WL 5954570, at *1-*2 (D. Nev. Nov. 6, 2013).
The parties, however, do not satisfactorily address these
standards. See, e.g., Docket No. 1; Docket No. 7 at
17. Moreover, the Court finds that Respondent has not
provided sufficiently detailed explanations as to which
specific materials constitute trade secrets or other
confidential commercial information, and why. See,
e.g., Docket No. 7; EnvTech, Inc. v. Suchard,
2013 U.S. Dist Lexis 129642, at *10 (D. Nev. Sept. 11, 2013)
(“[I]t is well-settled that a party objecting to
discovery must state its objection with specificity”)
(citing Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b)(2)(C)). As a result of these
deficiencies, the Court has insufficient information with
which to rule on the parties' motions.
Respondent appears to assume that Nevada law applies to its
claim that certain information constitutes trade secrets or
other confidential commercial information. See,
e.g., Docket No. 7 at 14-16. The parties fail to address
whether the definition set forth in Gonzales is, in
fact, the appropriate framework for the analysis. See
Gonzales, 234 F.R.D. at 684 (“Trade secret or
commercially sensitive information must be ‘important
proprietary information' and the party challenging the
subpoena must make ‘a strong showing that it has
historically sought to maintain the confidentiality of this
information'”) (quoting Compaq Comput. Corp. v.
Packard Bell Elec., Inc., 163 F.R.D. 329, 338 (N.D. Cal.
1995)). The Court cannot properly resolve the parties'
discovery dispute without adequate briefing on this issue.
this Court might not be in the best position to resolve this
dispute for two reasons. First, courts commonly bifurcate
discovery where it is initially uncertain whether certain
discovery will be necessary. For example, in Aevoe
Corp, this Court found, under the Gonzales
framework, that the movants' need for certain discovery
was “too speculative” because “the subject
documents may become necessary in this case only in the event
that several additional steps unfold, which depend on future
rulings on motions not currently before the Court.”
2013 WL 5954570, at *3. Consequently, the Court denied
certain discovery, but invited the movants to file a renewed
motion in the event it became necessary. Id. at
*3-*4. If the Court makes a similar determination here, it
will not be able to structure discovery accordingly because
the underlying action is located in the Northern District of
Illinois. Second, the Court lacks familiarity with Shuffle
Tech's business relationship with DigiDeal, which is a
key issue in the underlying litigation and in the motions
currently before the Court. This will make it difficult for
the Court to determine whether, as Petitioners submit,
Respondent is “essentially fulfill[ing] DigiDeal's
prior role” vis-à-vis Shuffle Tech. Docket No. 1
at 4. Thus, the Court finds that the parties should consider
whether the District of Nevada is the proper forum to resolve
their dispute. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(f).
reasons discussed above, Petitioners' motion to compel
and Respondent's counter-motions to quash and for
protective order are hereby DENIED without prejudice. Docket
Nos. 1, 10, 14, 42. The Court ORDERS the parties to meet and
confer as to whether this action should be transferred to the
Northern District of Illinois. The Court further ORDERS the
parties to file either a stipulation to transfer or renewed
motions, no later than May 25, 2017. If the parties choose to
file renewed motions, they must tailor their analysis to the
appropriate analytical framework as discussed above.
 Petitioners also filed a redacted
version of the motion to compel on the public docket,
pursuant to a court order. Docket No. 42. The motion at
Docket No. 42 is substantively ...