Federal Circuit Largely Upholds Dismissal of Uniloc Sealing Bid, Soundly Rejecting “Overbroad” Redactions
In late 2018, subsidiaries of Australian NPE Uniloc Corporation Pty. Limited became embroiled in a dispute with Apple over whether the complex nature of the NPE’s relationship with Fortress Investment Group LLC caused a standing defect in four Uniloc infringement suits. While that dispute has gone dormant, another battle resulted from Uniloc’s related motion to seal—which covered not only certain facts cited by Apple in its standing challenge, but also a wide swath of information encompassing Uniloc’s patent assertion business, its various agreements with Fortress, details on Uniloc licenses with third parties, and even certain materials already in the public record. Last year, District Judge William Alsup denied Uniloc’s motion to seal and rejected its attempt to make a more limited set of redactions. The Federal Circuit has just upheld most of those rulings, affirming as to Uniloc-specific information and echoing Judge Alsup’s conclusion that Uniloc should have made its request narrower in the first place. However, the appeals court remanded as to whether details of certain third-party licenses should stay sealed.