Magistrate Judge Burke Rules Infringement Contentions Are Not Confidential Information of Plaintiff

May 3, 2017

Publication| Intellectual Property

In Bright House Networks, LLC v. Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC, C.A. No. 16-277-LPS-CJB (D. Del. Mar. 30, 2017), Magistrate Judge Burke granted the movants’ request that the infringement contentions of patentee Mobile Telecommunications Technologies, LLC (“Mobile Telecomm”) were not properly designated confidential under the protective order. Judge Burke found that the contentions did not fall under the definition of “Protected Material” in the protective order insofar as the infringement allegations were not material that was “maintain[ed] in confidence in the ordinary course of business,” and that the movants had sufficiently alleged harm if the contentions were treated as confidential. Nor did the Court find that Mobile Telecomm showed good cause to redact portions of the contentions, concluding that Mobile Telecomm failed to show that it would suffer “annoyance, embarrassment, oppression or undue burden or expense” under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c) from public dissemination of the contentions.

Key Points: This ruling is consistent with previous rulings regarding confidentiality of infringement theories. See, e.g., Elm 3DS Innovations, LLC v. Samsung Electronics Co., C.A. No. 14-1430-LPS-CJB (D. Del. Feb. 11, 2016) (“[T]he Court disagrees with Plaintiff’s argument that its infringement theories constitute ‘other non-public sensitive information’ entitled to protection from third-party and public disclosure even in the midst of a patent infringement lawsuit Plaintiff chose to file.”).

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