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(a) In every case of interference, opposition to registration, application to register as a lawful concurrent user, or application to cancel the registration of a mark, the Director shall give notice to all parties and shall direct a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to determine and decide the respective rights of registration.
(b) The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board shall include the Director, Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Commissioner for Patents, the Commissioner for Trademarks, and administrative trademark judges who are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the Director.
(c) Authority of the Secretary.—The Secretary of Commerce may, in his or her discretion, deem the appointment of an administrative trademark judge who, before August 12, 2008, held office pursuant to an appointment by the Director to take effect on the date on which the Director initially appointed the administrative trademark judge.
(d) Defense to challenge of appointment.—It shall be a defense to a challenge to the appointment of an administrative trademark judge on the basis of the judge’s having been originally appointed by the Director that the administrative trademark judge so appointed was acting as a de facto officer.
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