Earthy, LLC v. BB&HC, LLC, No. 16 C 4934, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Oct. 10, 2017) (Kim, Mag. J.).

Magistrate Judge Kim granted declaratory judgment defendant BB&HC’s motion to quash a subpoena of an individual member of BB&HC in this trademark dispute involving BB&HC’s EARTHY DELIGHTS mark.

Because the individual member had a “minimal

Coach Services, Inc. v. Durbin’s Restaurant & Bar, No. 10 C 7154, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 25, 2012) (Kim, Mag. J.).

Judge Kim continued plaintiff’s motion to compel a third party deposition in order to give the third party an opportunity to comply.  The Court gave the third party two options:

1.         Appear

Pacific Century Int’l. v. Does 1-31, No. 11 C 9064, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 12, 2012) (Leinenweber, J.).

Judge Leinenweber granted plaintiff Pacific Century International’s (“PCI”) Fed. R. Civ. P. 45(c)(2)(B) motion to compel subpoena compliance, in this BitTorrent copyright suit.  The subpoena sought identifying information from Comcast for certain of its internet

Judge St. Eve granted plaintiff/counter-defendant Morningware’s motion to compel production from third party SKE in this patent and Lanham Act suit regarding convection ovens. SKE had an agreement with defendant/counter-plaintiff Hearthware that restricted SKE’s ability to disclose Hearthware’s confidential documents. The Court ordered SKE to produce the documents directly to Morningware, denying Hearthware’s request to review the documents for confidentiality first. The Court noted that Morningware’s agreement to initially treat all of SKE’s documents as Highly Confidential resolved confidentiality concerns.

Continue Reading Confidentiality Provision Does Not Prevent Production

MCGIP, LLC v. Does 1-316, No. 10 C 6677, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 9, 2011) (Kendall, J.).
Judge Kendall denied putative defendants’ motions to quash plaintiff MCGIP’s subpoenas seeking to identify users associated with specific IP addresses that allegedly used BitTorrent in a manner that infringed MCGIP’s copyrights in certain adult films. The Court’s key reasons for denying the motions to quash were:
MCGIP issued subpoenas to internet service providers (“ISP”), not the putative defendants. The subpoenas, therefore, did not create an undue burden on the putative defendants because the ISPs had a duty to produce documents, not the putative defendants.
MCGIP was seeking identifying information, none of which was privileged.
The subpoena requests were not outweighed by the putative defendant’s privacy or First Amendment rights.
Whether the Does were improperly joined is a premature question. As such, motions raising it were denied without prejudice to refile once the issue was ripe.
The putative defendants’ arguments that the Court lacked personal jurisdiction were also premature as defendants were not in the suit yet. Defendants will be free to raise those issues once they ripen.

Continue Reading Subpoenas to Identify Does Allowed in BitTorrent Copyright Case

Rosenthal Collins Group, LLC v. Trading Techs. Int’l., Inc., No. 05 C 4088, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 19, 2011) (Coleman, J.).
Judge Coleman granted declaratory judgment plaintiff Rosenthal Collins Group’s (“RCG”) motion for protective order and to quash third party subpoenas as to third party CQG. The subpoenas sought information regarding RCG’s use of CQG’s trading software. The Court previously entered judgment against RCE and the only issue left in the case is a January 23, 2012 damages trial. But the judgment and the damages trial were limited to RCG’s use of its software, not other third parties that have not yet been held to infringe, such as CQG’s software.

Continue Reading Trading Technologies: Court Quashes Subpoena

Viskase v. World Pac, Inc., No. 09 C 5022, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 9, 2010) (Bucklo, J.)
Judge Bucklo granted third party Kalle’s motion for a protective order and to quash plaintiff Viskase’s subpoena. Because the documents sought were created after the patent-in-suit’s filing date, they would have had little impact upon validity. Furthermore, Kalle was a competitor and its confidential information could not be protected from disclosure at trial. Finally, the volume of requested documents and the breadth of Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(6) requests would have made compliance with the subpoena costly and burdensome.

Continue Reading Third Party Competitor Need Not Comply With Onerous Subpoenas

Degregorio v. Phillips Electronics. N. Am. Corp., No. 07 C 2683, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Dec. 28, 2007) (Cox, Mag. J.).
Judge Cox granted in part defendants’ motion for a protective order regarding plaintiff’s subpoenas of defendants’ customers in this patent dispute. Plaintiff subpoenaed defendants’ customers of allegedly infringing hair trimmers with built in vacuums, seeking sales and inventory information, as well as promotional materials and purchase orders. The Court denied the motion as to the sales and inventory information. The customers’ sales were potentially relevant to commercial success of the patented device for plaintiff’s non-obviousness case. The Court did enter a protective order as to the request for purchase orders and marketing materials. The Court held that the purchase orders were cumulative of the other requested sales information and marketing materials were too tangential to commercial success to be discoverable.

Continue Reading Defendants’ Customers’ Sales Information Relevant to Commercial Success

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.

Continue Reading Inhouse Counsel’s Access to Third Party Documents Limited