By Eric Schweibenz
On April 19, 2010, Chief ALJ Paul J. Luckern issued the public version of Order No. 16 (dated April 5, 2010) in Certain DC-DC Controllers and Products Containing the Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-698), denying Complainants Richtek Technology Corp. and Richtek USA, Inc.’s (collectively, “Richtek”) motion to compel Respondent uPI Semiconductor Corporation (“uPI”) to search and produce the personal home computer and/or electronic storage devices of certain uPI employees (former Richtek employees) alleged to have misappropriated Richtek trade secret computer files for uPI.

The Commission Investigative Staff and uPI opposed Richtek’s motion.

In the Order, ALJ Luckern determined that:
the parties are in the middle of discovery and uPI's search and investigation is still ongoing.  As such, the administrative law judge finds that uPI's contentions and defenses are evolving, and that its opposition to a motion to compel should not be categorized as the final, immutable iteration of its case.  Thus, the administrative law judge agrees with respondent uPI that complainants request to search uPI employee’s home computers are not only somewhat redundant of previous discovery requests of complainant, but also suggests an intent to burden and harass uPI’s employees.

ALJ Luckern further determined that “in their motion, reply, and supporting documents, complainants do not make any showing of discrepancies or insufficiencies in uPI's discovery production nor any showing that it will be unable to get any relevant, sought-after information from other sources.”  Accordingly, ALJ Luckern denied Richtek’s motion.