SIMO Holdings Inc. (“SIMO”) prevailed on its patent infringement claims against defendant Hong Kong uCloudlink Network Technology Limited (“uCloudlink”) at trial. SIMO asked the district court twice to use confidential uCloudlink documents produced in pretrial discovery in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit in Shenzhen, China between SIMO subsidiary Skyroam Shenzhen and a uCloudlink subsidiary (the “Chinese lawsuit”).
As explained by the district court, when it made the request to disclose the confidential information in the Chinese lawsuit, SIMO informed the district court for the first time that “[i]n late November 2018” plaintiff’s counsel at K&L Gates LLP “made the . . . uCloudlink Confidential Documents available to the [King & Wood Mallesons] attorneys” who at that time represented Skyroam Shenzhen in a related Chinese patent infringement lawsuit and who now represent Skyroam Shenzhen in the Chinese lawsuit. Defendants not only opposed disclosure but also requested that the district court impose sanctions for the unauthorized disclosure to King & Wood Mallesons.
The district court found it significant that SIMO admitted that it shared the uCloudlink confidential documents with four King & Wood Mallesons attorneys in late November 2018. The district court noted that paragraph 5(c) of the Protective Order prohibits disclosure of confidential discovery material except to court personnel, stenographers, “counsel retained specifically for this action,” and those “retained by a party to serve as an expert witness or otherwise provide specialized advice to counsel in connection with this action.” Continue reading