Rembrandt Techs., LP v. Comcast Corp., No. 07 C 1010, 2007 WL 1598003 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 25, 2007) (Moran, J.).
Judge Moran granted defendants’ motion to compel documents from third party Zenith Electronics Corp. ("Zenith"), but restricted access to the documents by plaintiff, Rembrandt Technologies’ ("Rembrandt") inhouse counsel. In the underlying action, E.D. Texas Case No. 05 C 443, Rembrandt alleged that defendants infringed its patents. Zenith was identified as a leading licensor of Rembrandt’s technology. So, defendants subpoenaed Zenith to determine what Zenith paid for its license. Zenith essentially agreed to produce the documents pursuant to the subpoena, but wanted to restrict access to the documents so that no party’s inhouse counsel received access. Defendants agreed to the restriction, but Rembrandt argued that its chief patent counsel, John Meli, was a chief decisionmaker in the case and, therefore, required access to the documents. The Court acknowledged that Meli was a decisionmaker in the case and noted that the Texas court’s protective order allowed Meli access to highly confidential documents. Therefore, the Court granted Meli access to any license agreements produced by Zenith pursuant to the subpoena. But the Court denied Meli access to any other documents produced by Zenith.