The PTO recently fell victim to a catastrophic power failure responsible for missed electronic filing dates during the period December 22-24, 2015. Is a deadline within that period met through a subsequent filing relying upon a “holiday” notice purporting to make each of these three dates a “holiday” under 35 USC § 21?
Liability for Missed Deadlines keyed to a “Holiday” Notice: If Section 21 provides no statutory basis for the “holidays”, to what extent is there any liability for failure to meet a deadline? Should the PTO have legislation introduced to retroactively declare each of December 22-24, 2015, a holiday within the meaning of 35 USC § 21(b)? To what extent is there practitioner liability for choosing to delay a filing with reliance upon a “holiday” notice?
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