By Order entered by The Honorable Jennifer L. Hall in Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. v. Oxford Nanopore Technologies, Inc. et al., Civil Action No. 17-275-LPS (D.Del., November 4, 2019), the Court denied Defendants’ motion to redact portions of the hearing transcript from a discovery teleconference on August 14, 2019. The Court noted that, “although there is no presumptive right of public access to discovery motions and supporting documents filed with the court, the public does have a right of access to hearing transcripts.” Id. at *1.
In denying Defendants’ motion, the Court explained that the party seeking closure of a hearing or sealing of part of the judicial record has the burden to show that the material is the kind of information that courts will protect and its disclosure would result in a “clearly defined and serious injury to the party seeking closure.” Id. In this instance, the Court found that Defendants failed to meet their burden to show that disclosure of the unredacted transcript would result in a “clearly defined and serious injury” to them. Id. at *2. The information that Defendants sought to redact did not contain trade secrets, scientific data, strategic plans or financial information and the Court found that merely stating that the proposed redactions contained discussions of documents marked “Confidential” or “Highly Confidential” was not sufficient for Defendants to meet their burden. Id.
A copy of the Order is attached.
This decision serves as a reminder of the importance the Court places in the public having access to judicial proceedings. Parties and counsel should not assume that the Court will seal information, documents and/or transcripts simply because they are marked Confidential or Highly Confidential and one or more of the parties want them sealed. The required showing to seal the information, documents and/or transcripts is necessary.