WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court resolved a major patent law dispute in the government’s favor yesterday, narrowing the authority of a federal appeals court to second-guess decisions on which inventions deserve patent protection.

The 6-3 decision said that rather than overturning patent decisions by the Patent and Trademark Office if they are “clearly erroneous,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit must employ a more deferential standard included in a federal law, the Administrative Procedures Act, Lehman v. Zurko, 98-377.

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