September 18, 2021

Volume XI, Number 261

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Revealing Manufacturer Information Does Not Warrant Filing an Amended Complaint Under Seal

In DePuy Synthes Prods., Inc. v. Veterinary Orthopedic Implants, Inc., No. 2020-1514, (Mar. 12, 2021), the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s order to file the amended complaint on the public docket, holding that the identity of VOI’s manufacturer did not constitute a trade secret or otherwise merit confidentiality.

DePuy filed a patent infringement lawsuit against VOI. The district court entered the parties’ joint protective order, designating various categories of information as confidential information. DePuy later filed under seal a motion to amend the complaint, which joined as a defendant the manufacturer of VOI’s accused products. VOI requested to file the amended complaint under seal, arguing that the identity of and its business relationship with the manufacturer were confidential information, constituting a trade secret. The district court held that the information was not a trade secret and ordered that the amended complaint be filed on the public record. VOI appealed.

The Federal Circuit first determined that it had jurisdiction over the appeal under the collateral order doctrine. It then affirmed the district court’s holding that the manufacturer information was not a trade secret. The Federal Circuit also held that the public’s right of access trumped the parties’ interests in confidentiality.

© 2021 Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 96
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About this Author

Associate

Melissa Santos, Ph.D., focuses on patent prosecution, patent litigation, and client counseling in the areas of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and materials science. She has technical experience with polymer chemistry, fabrication and characterization of materials, and protein and genetic engineering. 

Melissa worked on patent prosecution and various aspects of patent litigation during her time as a summer associate at Finnegan. She previously served as a legal intern in the patents group at a global pharmaceutical company, conducting inventorship interviews with scientists and...

202-408-4226
Esther H. Lim Patent Litigation Attorney Finnegan Law Firm Washington, DC
Partner

Esther Lim has twenty-five years of experience in patent litigation, portfolio management, licensing, and counseling. She has litigated extensively before federal district courts, the International Trade Commission (ITC), and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in complex matters involving a wide range of technologies from electrical to mechanical to pharmaceutical. Esther served as the founding managing partner of Finnegan’s Shanghai office. She is the past president of the D.C. Bar with 110,000 members.

Over two decades of diverse professional endeavors and...

202-408-4121
Christina Ji-Hye Yang Patent Litigation Attorney Finnegan Law Firm Washington, DC
Associate

Christina Ji-Hye Yang focuses her practice on patent litigation and client counseling in the areas of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, with particular emphasis on Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) cases.

Christina is involved in all phases of litigation, including pre-litigation analysis, fact discovery, and expert discovery. She also has experience in Section 337 litigation at the International Trade Commission (ITC) and post-grant proceedings at the Patent Trials and Appeals Board (PTAB), including inter partes reviews (IPRs). Christina has also advised clients in...

202-408-4465
Elizabeth Ferrill Patent Attorney Finnegan Law Firm
Partner

Elizabeth Ferrill is an “undisputed expert on design patents” who is “always updated and enlightening others with her deep knowledge,” “very involved in the design bar,” and “gives her clients an outstanding service” as noted in Intellectual Asset Management Patent 1000. She focuses her practice on all aspects of design patents, including prosecution, counseling, post-grant, and litigation.

Elizabeth counsels clients who hold design patents as well as those accused of infringement. She has experience with design patents related to consumer and industrial products, medical...

202 408 4445
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