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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 | Back issues
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Amazon to Get Experts’ Names in Fire TV Case

MIAMI (CN) - Amazon has a right to know the identity of non-testifying experts for the streaming porn company suing the Internet giant over its Fire TV, a federal judge ruled.

Wreal LLC sued Amazon earlier this year for trademark infringement, claiming its streaming porn service FyreTV had been online long before Amazon debuted the set-top box this April.

"Wreal's video streaming service has provided adult content to consumers since 2007, though it alleges an intent to broaden its reach beyond adult content," the ruling states. "Amazon's video streaming service allows consumers to stream a broad range of videos, presumably including adult content, to their television sets using an internet connection."

The parties agreed to a protective order to guard their trade secrets but Amazon wanted to know the identity of Wreal's non-testifying experts who are asked to view Amazon's confidential materials.

"Amazon contends that this information, if made known to its competitors, would cause it substantial harm. By way of example, Amazon argues that the 'total sales' of its new streaming video set-top box and service would be valuable to a competitor making pricing and advertising decisions in the 'fast-moving business of capturing consumers for streaming video,'" according to the ruling written by U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman.

Wreal objected to the identification of non-testifying experts, claiming that would give away its litigation strategy. Goodman, however, ruled in favor of Amazon.

"Because Amazon has demonstrated good cause for the requested provision, the undersigned will be entering a protective order containing the expert identification clause - albeit one with slightly compressed deadlines for objecting," the judge wrote.

Goodman, who quoted The Beatles' "Do You Want to Know a Secret?" in the opening of the 11-page opinion, cited a similar case and a legal journal to support the court's decision.

"Not only have several courts concluded that the identify of a non-testifying expert is not automatically off limits, but a very recent article in the ABA's Litigation News, entitled 'Your Opponent Can Discover Your Experts,' noted the case law permitting the discovery and provided a practice tip - be more circumspect about what one tells consultants," Goodman wrote.

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