Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 2/17/2010 11:25:00 AM

Federal Judge Considers Whether Photographs of Goodyear Equipment Should Be Sealed from Public View

By Todd

It is common for documents and photographs and evidence to be filed "under seal" in court proceedings involving trade secrets matters. Reason is that the secrecy of the information or thing needs to be insured, even though the secrecy of that information or thing is actually being litigated in a court usually open to all.

This is the issue facing a federal judge in Knoxville, Tennessee in a case where two defendants are accused of surreptitiously photographing some Goodyear Tire equipment while they were in the Goodyear plant in Kansas, all for the purpose of stealing the information for competitive purposes. The federal prosecutors say some photographs need to be "sealed" such that the public can't see them. The defense attorneys say the photographs aren't pictures of trade secrets at all - that's what the trial is about. They are essentially arguing that the implication to the jury if the photos are "sealed" is that they DO actually constitute trade secrets and that's not fair to their clients' defense.

We'll report back if we learn the judge's ultimate decision.


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