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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Ind. Decisions - Another interesting 7th Circuit opinion today

This is a 9-page opinion in a Petition for a Writ of Mandamus to the ND Illinois, In re ERICH SPECHT. Chief Judge Easterbrook writes the opinion, which begins:

In 1999 Erich Specht started a home business, which he called Android Data Corporation. It offered website hosting services. Specht registered “Android Data” as a federal trademark for his business, which folded in 2002. Specht allowed his registration for the domain name “androiddata.com” to lapse, and the corporation was dissolved under state law. Specht did not use the mark again until 2009—when,having learned about Google’s Android operating system for mobile phones, he registered the domain name “android-data.com”, attempted to resurrect the corporation by sending backdated reports and fees to the Illinois Secretary of State, and filed suit against Google and 47 other defendants for trademark infringement.
What is most interesting to the ILB is the closing, which deals with documents that Google and AT&T tried to protect as "confidential":
One final subject. Google and AT&T Mobility have asked us to keep confidential the language of their indemnity agreement and some other documents. Other participants in the wireless communication business might be able to obtain some negotiating advantage by knowing the agreement’s terms. Google and AT&T do not contend, however, that the terms are trade secrets. Documents that affect the disposition of federal litigation are presumptively open to public view, even if the litigants strongly prefer secrecy, unless a statute, rule, or privilege justifies confidentiality. See, e.g., Baxter International, Inc. v. Abbott Laboratories, 297 F.3d 544 (7th Cir. 2002); Union Oil Co. of California v. Leavell, 220 F.3d 562 (7th Cir. 2000). Because the motions to seal do not contend that the standards of Baxter and Union Oil have been satisfied, they are denied. If Google and AT&T wanted to keep the documents’ terms secret, they should not have proffered them in response to Specht’s motion.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 8, 2010 04:59 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions