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Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens (4th Cir. Sept. 2, 2010)

Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens (4th Cir. Sept. 2, 2010)

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Published by Andrew Pequignot
Another decision from the Fourth Circuit in the Baltimore Ravens case. This one on fair use.
Another decision from the Fourth Circuit in the Baltimore Ravens case. This one on fair use.

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Published by: Andrew Pequignot on Sep 03, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/24/2012

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PUBLISHED
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
 
F
REDERICK
E. B
OUCHAT
,
Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.B
ALTIMORE
R
AVENS
L
IMITED
P
ARTNERSHIP
; N
ATIONAL
F
OOTBALL
L
EAGUE
; NFL P
RODUCTIONS
LLC,d/b/a NFL Films, Incorporated, asubsidiary of NFL Ventures L.P.,No. 08-2381
1 NFL Plaza, Mt. Laurel, NewJersey 08054,
 Defendants-Appellees,
andNFL F
ILMS
, I
NCORPORATED
; T
HE
B
ALTIMORE
S
UN
C
OMPANY
,
 Defendants.
Appeal from the United States District Courtfor the District of Maryland, at Baltimore.Marvin J. Garbis, Senior District Judge.(1:08-cv-00397-MJG)Argued: December 4, 2009Decided: September 2, 2010Before NIEMEYER, MICHAEL, and GREGORY,Circuit Judges.
 
Reversed and remanded in part; affirmed in part by publishedopinion. Judge Michael wrote the opinion, in which JudgeGregory joined. Judge Niemeyer wrote a dissenting opinion.
COUNSELARGUED:
Howard J. Schulman, SCHULMAN & KAUF-MAN, LLC, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellant. RobertLloyd Raskopf, QUINN, EMANUEL, URQUHART, OLI-VER & HEDGES, LLP, New York, New York, for Appel-lees.
ON BRIEF:
Daniel P. Doty, SCHULMAN &KAUFMAN, LLC, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellant. Mark D. Gately, HOGAN & HARTSON, LLP, Baltimore, Mary-land; Sanford I. Weisburst, QUINN, EMANUEL,URQUHART, OLIVER & HEDGES, LLP, New York, NewYork, for Appellees.
OPINION
MICHAEL, Circuit Judge:For the fourth time we consider on appeal an aspect of Frederick E. Bouchat’s copyright infringement cause againstthe Baltimore Ravens football organization and NationalFootball League entities for their unauthorized copying of aRavens team logo, drawn by Bouchat, that was used for threeseasons as the team’s official symbol. This appeal arises froman action Bouchat filed to enjoin defendants’ depictions of thecopyrighted logo in season highlight films and in the Ravenscorporate lobby. The district court found that defendants’depictions of the logo were a fair use and entered judgmentagainst Bouchat. We reverse in part because defendants can-not establish a fair use defense for the depictions of the logoin the highlight films, where the logo use is non-transformative and commercial. We reject defendants’ con-
2B
OUCHAT
v. B
ALTIMORE
R
AVENS
 
tention that Bouchat’s request for injunctive relief againstthese acts of infringement is precluded, and the district courton remand will therefore consider whether an injunction isappropriate. We affirm the district court’s finding of fair useas to the depictions of the logo in the Ravens corporate lobby,where team history is portrayed, free of charge.I.Bouchat owns the copyright in a drawing he created in1995 and proposed for use as the Ravens team logo (theShield logo). The Ravens used a strikingly similar logo designduring the team’s first three seasons, 1996, 1997, and 1998(the Flying B logo). The Flying B logo was displayed on theside of the Ravens football helmet, painted on the Ravensfield, and printed on flags, hats, tickets, and other assortedobjects. Our first decision on this subject affirmed the jury’sliability verdict, which found that the Ravens and the NationalFootball League had infringed Bouchat’s copyright in theShield logo.
 Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens, Inc.
, 241 F.3d 350(4th Cir. 2000) (
 Bouchat I 
). Our second decision affirmed a jury award of zero damages for the basic infringement.
 Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens Football Club, Inc.
, 346 F.3d514 (4th Cir. 2003) (
 Bouchat II 
). Our third decision, stem-ming from actions Bouchat filed against numerous NFLlicensees that used the Flying B logo, affirmed judgments "infavor of the licensees because Bouchat [wa]s precluded fromobtaining actual damages against them."
 Bouchat v. Bon-Ton Dep’t Stores, Inc.
, 506 F.3d 315, 328 (4th Cir. 2007) (
 Bouchat  III 
).This appeal arises from an action brought by Bouchat onFebruary 14, 2008, against the Baltimore Ravens LimitedPartnership (the Ravens), the National Football League andNFL Productions LLC (together, the NFL), and The Balti-more Sun Company.
1
Bouchat seeks an injunction prohibiting
1
The Baltimore Sun Company was dismissed with prejudice on August12, 2008, at Bouchat’s request.
3B
OUCHAT
v. B
ALTIMORE
R
AVENS

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