CardioNet and InfoBionic have been in litigation for several years on various patents and trade secret claims relating to cardiac monitoring devices – in one of these cases, Judge Talwani struck down CardioNet’s 7,941,207 patent as being directed to ineligible subject matter. In the present case, CardioNet seeks to sever two of the patents that were likewise deemed to cover non-patentable subject matter from the case to permit an immediate appeal of that finding. InfoBionic sought to file an exhibit (a letter from InfoBionic to CardioNet making clear that InfoBionic viewed the remaining infringement claims to lack a good-faith basis for assertion) to its opposition to the motion to sever under seal. The letter is asserted to contain sensitive information that was exchanged as a part of an on-going arbitration proceeding on a trade secret misappropriation claim between CardioNet and a former employee who is now working for InfoBionic. CardioNet did not oppose the motion to seal, but Judge Talwani denied the request without prejudice, noting the presumptive right of the public to have access to judicial documents and finding that InfoBionic had not met the burden of showing that impoundment would not violate this presumptive right. She gave InfoBionic the option of filing the letter on the public docket with sensitive material redacted, thus keeping the material out of the purview of the things she would consider in ruling on the motion, or providing further explanation as to why the sensitive material merited consideration of the court.
In my experience, both in managing this blog and in practice before her, Judge Talwani scrutinizes motions to seal documents with great care. Litigants must ensure that they provide appropriate and specific information as to the sensitive nature and the harm that would result from public disclosure when seeking to impound information that they ask the court to rely upon, even where the opposing party assents to impoundment.