December 17, 2013 4th Circuit published opinions

Pan v Holder

Pan sought asylum. The immigration judge found Pan was not credible and denied his application. The denial was affirmed by the immigration appeals board. The panel affirmed. It held that the credibility determination was supported by substantial evidence because Pan gave vague testimony on why he would be subjected to sterilization in China and gave inconsistent testimony as to his journey to America. The panel also held that the unreliability determination about documents submitted to corroborate Pan’s testimony was supported by substantial evidence as Pan did not present testimony or affidavits from his parents who supposedly sent the documents or his  uncle who supposedly received them and the documents themselves were either unsigned photocopies or inconsistent with Pan’s testimony at the hearing.

Bouchat v Baltimore Ravens Limited Partnership

Bouchat sued the ravens and eh national Football League for trademark infringement base don fleeting displays of a logo in video and pictorial works. The district court granted summary judgment tot eh ravens and the NFL on fair use grounds. The panel affirmed. It held the videos and pictures used the logo for its historical factual message not the branding message and thus were transformative. It held the uses were not sufficiently commercial to overcome the transformation given the historical nature of the display. It reasoned to conclude otherwise would give mark holders veto power over documentaries and thus reduce the free flow of information in contravention of the purposes of copyright protection. The panel also concluded the other factors overall favored a fair use determination as the logo is fleetingly displayed, incidental to the message of the displays and there was no effect on the market for the logo in its branding role.

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