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Allyson Duncan

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Allyson Duncan
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Current Court Information:
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Title:   Judge
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   8/15/2003-Present
Preceded by:   Samuel Ervin
Personal History
Born:   1951
Hometown:   Durham, NC
Undergraduate:   Hampton University, 1972
Law School:   Duke Law, 1975

Allyson Kay Duncan is a federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. She was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush.[1]


Duncan graduated from Hampton University with her bachelor's degree in 1972 and from Duke University School of Law with her J.D. in 1975.[1]

Professional career

Judicial career

Fourth Circuit

On the recommendation of North Carolina U.S. Senators Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr, Duncan was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit by President George W. Bush on April 28, 2003, to a seat vacated by Judge Samuel Ervin. Duncan was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 17, 2003, and received commission on August 15, 2003.[2]

Notable cases

Copyright suit over NFL Baltimore Ravens logo (2013)

     United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Bouchat v. Baltimore Ravens Limited Partnership, et al, 12-2543)

On December 17, 2013, a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit, composed of Judges Harvie Wilkinson, Allyson Duncan, and Albert Diaz, found that both the Baltimore Ravens' and National Football League's (NFL) use of the team's old "Flying B" logo did not infringe upon plaintiff Frederick Bouchat's copyright.[3]

In the underlying case, Bouchat, an amateur artist, proposed a new logo for the Ravens after the team moved to Baltimore in 1995. The Ravens then presented a logo that was strikingly similar to the one Bouchat suggested. Bouchat obtained a copyright on his original drawing and filed suit, ultimately winning the case but without damages awarded. Several years later, the Ravens again changed the team logo, but Bouchat alleged infringement once more, and attempted to prevent the team and the NFL from using its previous "Flying B" logo in documentary films and photographs. The district court found that the defendants' use was fair.[3]

Judge Wilkinson, writing for the majority, affirmed the lower court's decision, noting that the use of Bouchat's copyrighted work was transformative (i.e., it was used for a different purpose than its original one). Wilkinson further stated:

The uses here were not only transformative, but also -- take your pick -- fleeting, incidental, de minimis, innocuous. If these uses failed to qualify as fair, a host of perfectly benign and valuable expressive works would be subject to lawsuits. That in turn would discourage the makers of all sorts of historical documentaries and displays, and would deplete society's fund of informative speech.[3][4]
The use of the Ravens logo, as negligible and incidental as it was, failed to rise to the level of "the type of commercial use frowned upon" by copyright law. Bouchat was not awarded any damages.[3]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Samuel Ervin
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
Succeeded by: