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Without Explanation, Feds Stay Unsealing Ordered by Judge Koh in Apple v. Samsung

I've written before about what I believe to be a judicial (and academic) pushback against oversealing in patent litigations*, and now the Federal Circuit has stepped in and effectively reversed Judge Koh's efforts to keep judicial proceedings appropriately public. So it seems the Feds aren't part of that judicial pushback.

Yesterday, the Feds stayed Judge Koh's orders "unsealing certain trial and motion exhibits" (the Feds' 9/18/2012 Stay Order). The Feds did this without explanation: although they recited the correct law to apply, the Feds gave no indication how the law applied to the facts of this case, nor any indication why the law compelled the use of an extrajudicial remedy like an injunction to undo the rulings of the trial court judge.

The Feds similarly granted a stay without explanation (but with a recital of the applicable law) in Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC v. Gevo, Inc. (order here). Because Butamax stayed the lower court's enjoining of the ongoing activities of a business, I could understand an argument that the merits were somehow "obvious" (and thus did not require an explanation), but there is no such possible justification regarding this order. Besides, not explaining how the law applies to the facts of the case is just bad form.

If the presentation in one of Gizmodo's article on the Apple v. Samsung case (article here) is indicative of the materials that Judge Koh ordered unsealed, the Feds are wrong on the facts and wrong on the law.

tidgenotes

* - I originally wrote about judicial pushback against oversealing in Signed, SEALED, Delivered, I'm Yo--well, maybe not, followed by a post noting Gizmodo's use of unsealed materials in an article about Apple v. Samsung (Gizmodo proves me wrong), and then a nod to Prof. Bernard Chao's articles against the abuse of sealing in patent cases (Patently-O proves me wrong).

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