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Written April 2, 2019

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on April 1, 2019, held that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) must reconsider its decision to invalidate IBM’s U.S. Patent No. 7,631,346; the patent is related to a system for reducing authentication burdens by allowing a user to sign-in only once while accessing multiple applications. IBM v. Iancu, Fed. Cir., No. 18-01065, 4/1/19.

The PTAB invalidated the patent in two challenges, finding many of claims were anticipated by either Japanese Publication No. Tokkai 2004-302907A in the first challenge, or by U.S. Patent No. 7,680,819 in the second challenge.

The Federal Circuit clarified the interpretation of certain language in the ‘346 patent and asked the PTAB to revisit the validity questions in the first challenge. They also reversed the board’s conclusion in the second challenge, finding a lack of evidence.
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