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IntellectualPropertyandtheCommonLawEditedBySHYAMKRISHNABALGANESHUniversityofPennsylvaniaLawSchool 3TheMixedHeritageofFederalIntellectualPropertyLawandRamificationsforStatutoryInterpretationPeterS.Menell*Atfirstblush,therewouldnotappeartobemuchroleforthejudiciaryinthedevel-opmentandevolutionofpatentandcopyrightlaw.TheUnitedStatesConstitutiongrantsCongressauthoritytoenactpatentandcopyrightlaws,leavingtocourtsthemorelimitedroleofinterpretingthelaws.1AndCongresshasactedonthatauthor-ity,enactinglengthyfederalpatentandcopyrightstatutesthatprecludeandlargelypreemptstatestatutoryandcommonlawprotectionsforinventionsandcreativeexpression.2Butfirstimpressionscanbedeceiving.Whenweexaminethesubstanceofmodernfederalintellectualproperty(IP)law,thejudiciary’simprintandevolvingroleareunmistakableandprofound.Manycriticalfeaturesofpatentandcopyrightlaw–suchasthelimitationsonpatentablesubjectmatter,thestandardsforpatentinfringement(doctrineofequivalents),thestandardsforcopyrightinfringement,thescopeofindirec...