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Savant Systems, LLC v. Crestron Electronics

March 22, 2012

SAVANT SYSTEMS, LLC,
PLAINTIFF/COUNTERCLAIM-DEFENDANT,
v.
CRESTRON ELECTRONICS, INC., DEFENDANT/COUNTERCLAIM-PLAINTIFF.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lynne A. Sitarski United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM

Currently before the Court are the Motion of Defendant Crestron Electronics, Inc. to Quash Plaintiff Savant Systems, LLC's Subpoena to Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. (Doc. No. 1), Plaintiff Savant Systems, LLC's Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant Crestron Electronics, Inc.'s Motion to Quash Plaintiff's Subpoena to Third Party Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. (Doc. No. 7), Defendant Crestron Electronics, Inc.'s [Proposed] Reply to the Opposition of Plaintiff Savant Systems, LLC to the Motion to Quash Plaintiff's Subpoena to Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. (Doc. No. 8), and Plaintiff Savant Systems, LLC's [Proposed] Sur-Reply in Regard to Crestron Electronics, Inc.'s Motion to Quash Plaintiff's Subpoena to Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. (Doc.

No. 13). It is hereby Ordered for the following reasons that the Motion to Quash is GRANTED. *fn1

I. BACKGROUND

A. The Parties and the Utah Litigation.

Because this Court writes for the parties, it provides only a brief summary of the facts and the procedural history relevant to the present motion.

Savant Systems, LLC ("Savant" or "Plaintiff") and Crestron Electronics, Inc. ("Crestron" or "Defendant") are manufacturers and sellers of high-end programmable controller systems of domestic electronic equipment -- i.e. audio-video, lighting, climate control, communications and surveillance systems. Def.'s Mot. to Quash Ex. 3. Savant is based out of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and was founded in 2005 by a group with previous experience in related technological fields. Def.'s Mot. to Quash Ex. 3 at Compl. ¶ 3. Crestron is based in northern New Jersey, has been in the business for forty years, and represents that it is the most well-established and largest provider of these types of goods and services in the market, holding approximately 80% of the market. Def.'s Br. in Supp. Mot. to Quash 1; see also Def.'s Mot. to Quash Ex. 3 at Compl. ¶¶ 4, 14. Both Plaintiff Savant and Defendant Crestron appear to be fighting for the Apple platform market for its various products. Id. at ¶¶ 6, 39-40.

Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. ("Lutron"), the recipient of the subpoena at issue in this motion, is headquartered in Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, and presents itself as an industry innovator in light dimmers and a direct competitor of Crestron.Def.'s Mot. to Quash Ex. 4 at Fourth Am. Compl. ¶¶ 2-5. Of relevance to the present controversy is a case pending in the United States District Court for the District of Utah. Def.'s Mot. To Quash Ex. 4.That case, Lutron v. Crestron, concerns claims of copyright and patent infringement and theft of trade secrets of numerous Lutron products. Id.

During discovery in the Utah patent case, Crestron produced 300,000 documents to Lutron in response to discovery requests served by Lutron. Def.'s Br. in Supp. Mot. to Quash 3; see also Def.'s Mot. to Quash Ex. 2 at ¶ 4. Importantly, the documents were designated "Confidential" or "Highly Confidential," and were produced pursuant to a court-approved, stipulated protective order. Id.; see also Def.'s Mot. to Quash Ex. 5 at Stipulated Protective Order.The stipulated protective order was signed by United States Magistrate Judge Brooke C. Wells. Def.'s Mot. to Quash Ex. 5 at Stipulated Protective Order.Of particular relevance, that protective order provides that confidential documents produced in that lawsuit may be used in that lawsuit, only:

Each Party's production of any document(s), thing(s), or information designated as "CONFIDENTIAL" or "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL" shall be solely for purposes of and use in this action, and those documents, things and information shall not be used for any other purpose or in any other action.

Id. at ¶12 (emphasis added).

B. The Subpoena Directed to Lutron Electronics.

The current Miscellaneous action arises out of a second federal lawsuit pending in Massachusetts. Def.'s Br. in Supp. Mot. to Quash 2; see also Def.'s Mot. to Quash Ex. 3. Savant filed an antitrust suit against Crestron on September 22, 2010 in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, alleging claiming violations of the Sherman and Clayton Acts. Id. Crestron filed a counterclaim alleging tortious and unfair business practices. Def.'s Br. in Supp. Mot. to Quash 2.

During discovery in the Massachusetts action, Savant served a subpoena duces tecum on non-party Lutron through its president, Joel S. Spira. Def.'s Mot. to Quash Ex. 5.The subpoena was served on December 28, 2011, at Lutron's offices in Coopersburg. Id. The subpoena purports to require non-party Lutron to produce documents produced by Crestron to Lutron in the Utah patent infringement suit. Id. As noted above, documents produced in the Utah case are subject to a stipulated protective order signed by United States Magistrate Judge Brooke C. ...


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