United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Western Division
ORDER GRANTING MOTIONS TO SEAL
Timothy S. Black United States District Judge.
civil case is before the Court on several motions to seal
that remain pending as the Court prepares to enter an Order
granting the motion of Ranir, LLC (“Ranir”) to
dismiss for improper venue. Though this case is terminating,
the Court enters this Order for the purpose of ensuring
compliance with the Sixth Circuit's mandate that court
dockets are to remain open to the public except when there
are compelling reasons for concealment.
a patent-infringement case. On March 20, 2017, The Proctor
& Gamble Company (“P&G”) filed the
Complaint, which alleges Ranir is infringing patents held by
P&G used in tooth whitening strip products. (Doc. 1).
P&G also filed a motion for preliminary injunction. (Doc.
April 17, 2017, Ranir filed an unopposed motion for leave to
file its opposition to P&G's motion
(“Opposition”) under seal. (Doc.18). Ranir argued
that its Opposition would cite, and attach, exhibits that
P&G had labeled as “Confidential” or
“Highly Confidential - Attorney Eyes Only” in
discovery. (Id.) Ranir requested that it be
permitted to file the Opposition under seal in order to
maintain the confidentiality of P&G's
April 18, 2017, the Court entered an Order Conditionally
Granting Ranir's request. (Doc. 19). The Court's
Order explained that the Sixth Circuit requires a party
moving to seal court records to set forth a compelling reason
for the seal and demonstrate that the seal is narrowly
tailored to that reason. (Id. at 3-4). However, the
Court conditionally granted the motion in order to allow
Ranir to timely file its Opposition, stating:
Defendant's motion to file under seal (Doc. 18) is
CONDITIONALLY GRANTED. Accordingly,
Defendant may file its response to Plaintiff's motion for
preliminary injunction under seal, however, the seal will
expire in 30 days from filing unless (1) the parties
successfully move to seal the filing (or portions of the
filing) under the standards set forth by the Sixth Circuit
Court of Appeals or (2) the parties move to extend the
conditional period on the basis that a motion to seal is
pending before this Court.
(Doc. 19 at 6).
April 18, 2017, Ranir filed its Opposition entirely under
seal. (Doc. 21).
April 26, 2017, P&G filed a motion to file its reply in
support of its motion for preliminary injunction
(“Reply”) under seal. (Doc. 24). On April 26,
2017, P&G filed an unredacted version of its Reply under
seal (Doc. 25) and a redacted version on the public docket
April 28, 2017, Ranir filed a motion to strike portions of
P&G's Reply, or in the alternative, for leave to file
a sur-reply in response to the Reply brief (“Motion for
Sur-Reply”) (Doc. 28). Ranir attached a redacted
version of its proposed Sur-Reply (Doc. 28-1) and filed a
motion to file the complete, unredacted version of its
proposed Sur-Reply under seal (Doc. 27).
5, 2017, Ranir filed an opposition to P&G's motion to
file the Reply brief under seal. (Doc. 31). Curiously, Ranir
also requested that the Court lift the seal on Ranir's
own Opposition, and deny Ranir's own motion for leave to
file its proposed Sur-Reply under seal, on the grounds that
the P&G documents Ranir cited, and attached, in those
briefs are not entitled to be sealed. (Id. at
12, 2017, P&G filed a reply in support of its motion to
seal its Reply brief and an opposition to Ranir's request
to unseal its own Opposition and proposed Sur-Reply. (Doc.
33). P&G argues that Ranir's Opposition,
P&G's Reply, and Ranir's proposed Sur-Reply all
contain P&G's trade secrets and other confidential
information which would harm P&G if made public.
(Id.) P&G submitted a disk to Chambers which
highlights the confidential information in each of these
three briefs that P&G argues should be sealed and
redacted on the public docket. (Id. at 4).
August 17, 2017, the Court entered an Order granting
Ranir's motion to dismiss for lack of venue and denying,
as moot, P&G's motion for preliminary injunction
(Doc. 8) and the Motion for Sur-Reply (Doc. 28). (Doc. 36).
Because the Court did not rule on the merits of P&G's
motion for preliminary injunction, whether or not the briefs
are sealed are of little consequence for purposes of this
litigation. In any event, the Court puts on this Order to
ensure that its docket remains ...