United States District Court, D. Nevada
MIRANDA M. DU CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a consolidated patent infringement case brought under the
Hatch-Waxman Act where Plaintiffs Amarin Pharma, Inc. and
Amarin Pharmaceuticals Ireland Limited seek to prevent
Defendants West-Ward Pharmaceuticals International Limited
and Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. (collectively,
“Hikma”), and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Inc.
and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Ltd. (collectively,
“DRL”) from launching generic competitor drugs to
Plaintiffs' drug Vascepa. Before the Court is
Defendants' motion to seal, seeking to file redacted
versions of their pretrial brief and pretrial proposed
findings of fact and conclusions of law (the
“Motion”). (ECF No. 334.) As further explained below,
the Court will deny Defendants' motion to seal, but will
also give Plaintiffs an opportunity to show cause why the
Court should not unseal the unredacted versions of
Defendants' briefs that Defendants filed with their
Motion (ECF Nos. 335, 336).
Ninth Circuit there is “a strong presumption in favor
of access to court records.” Foltz v. State Farm
Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 1122, 1135 (9th Cir.
2003). To overcome this presumption, a party must articulate
“compelling reasons” justifying nondisclosure,
such as use of the record to gratify spite, permit public
scandal, circulate libelous statements, or release trade
secrets. Kamakana v. City of Honolulu, 447 F.3d
1172, 1179 (9th Cir. 2006). “The mere fact that the
production of records may lead to a litigant's
embarrassment, incrimination, or exposure to further
litigation will not, without more, compel the court to seal
its records.” Id. (citation omitted).
Moreover, a party seeking redactions must provide
“specific compelling reasons” to justify them.
Id. at 1183-84. “Simply mentioning a general
category of privilege, without any further elaboration or any
specific linkage with the documents, does not satisfy the
burden.” Id. at 1184.
have not met their burden here. First, Defendants do not
specifically describe the categories of information they seek
to seal, or provide any reasons why that information should
be redacted beyond stating that the information generally
falls within the scope of the parties' stipulated
protective order and is the type of information that
pharmaceutical companies generally treat as confidential.
(ECF No. 334 at 2.) See also Kamakana, 447 F.3d at
1183-84 (explaining this is insufficient). Second, it is
clear the Motion is not specifically tailored to the
materials it seeks to seal because the motion itself refers
to “Defendants' Motion to Compel.” (ECF No.
334 at 3.) But there is no currently pending motion to compel
in this case. Third, the Motion makes no effort to explain
how any of the information Defendants seek to seal would be
considered a trade secret, or exactly how its unsealing would
in this case, Magistrate Judge Koppe issued an order
approving the parties' blanket protective order making it
very clear “there has been no showing, and the Court
has not found, that any specific documents are secret or
confidential.” (ECF No. 70 at 1.) That order also
imposed a procedure for filing documents under seal when the
sealing is based entirely on the other party's
designation of the material as confidential under the
protective order, but the Court cannot ascertain whether
Defendants complied with this procedure from reviewing the
Motion. (Id. at 2.) And while the Court has granted
some previously-filed motions to seal in this case, the
impending bench trial prompted the Court to take a hard look
at Defendants' Motion. The Court is concerned about the
implications-logistical and otherwise-of allowing the parties
to maintain some information under seal at trial if they have
not first specifically articulated compelling reasons in
support of sealing each piece of information they seek to
because the unsealing of the unredacted versions of these
briefs could prejudice Plaintiffs-and that is the risk
Defendants seem to seek to avoid in their Motion- the Court
will grant Plaintiffs leave to show cause in writing within
five days why the Court should not unseal the documents
referenced in Defendants' Motion. If Plaintiffs do not
respond within five days, or indicate in writing they do not
object to these documents being unsealed within that time,
the Court will direct that the unredacted briefs (ECF Nos.
335 336) be unsealed.
therefore ordered that Defendants' motion to seal (ECF
No. 334) is denied.
further ordered that Plaintiffs must show cause in writing
within five days of the date of entry of this order why the
Court should not unseal the unredacted briefs referenced in
Defendants' motion to seal (ECF Nos. 335, 336). If
Plaintiffs do not respond within five days, the Court will
direct the Clerk of Court to unseal the documents.
Plaintiffs have not filed a response to
the Motion as of the date of entry of ...