A Blog About Intellectual Property Litigation and the District of Delaware

Consistent with the trend in this District, Judge Andrews recently rejected a defendant's unopposed request to seal the [virtual] courtroom and exhibits for a preliminary injunction hearing, despite the defendant's assertions that its presentation might include trade secrets and other highly confidential technical and financial information, and that it would be "prevented from effectively offering its arguments" if the proceedings were not sealed. The Court had previously docketed a public dial-in number, which would provide audio-only access to the hearing.

Judge Andrews did not issue an opinion, but simply modified the proposed order filed by the defendant (Peloton), inserting "not" in a key location, and replacing "Granted" with "Denied."

Peloton made its request in a publicly filed 4-page submission (attached here) that provided generalized allegations of harm, but did not discuss specifics or include a supporting factual declaration. Peloton had suggested "releasing redacted public versions of the exhibits and a redacted transcript of these proceedings as soon after the hearing as practicable," but that was not enough to sway Judge Andrews.

It's possible that Peloton's motion was pro forma, but asking for preemptive sealing of the courtroom and exhibits in an environment where public access is already limited requires a more robust factual showing than Peloton was able to provide here.

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