Princeton University Press v. Michigan Document Services, Inc.
99 F.3d 1381 (6th Cir. 1996) - full text opinion
Chester Carlson was a physicist and lawyer employed in the patent office of P.R. Mallory Co. (now Duracell). His job often required him to make copies of patent applications and frustrated with the available technology, Carlson began experimenting. On October 22, 1938, he produced the world's first photocopy (pictured). He offered the technology to companies like IBM, General Electric and even the US Army, but none would invest. It was six years before the Haloid Corporation (later renamed Xerox) agreed to produce photocopiers. Before his death in 1968, Carlson gave over $100 million to various charities.
Here is an overview of how §107 and §108 of the 1976 Copyright Act affect photocopying. For more information about academic works and the fair use defense, see the discussion of American Geophysical Union v. Texaco, Inc.