Concerns continue to be expressed over the Patent Office declaration of “holidays” responsive to the massive December power outage as lacking statutory basis.  See Ryan Davis,USPTO Response to Power Failure Could Cause Headaches,Law360 (Jan. 4, 2016).   While some statutory deadlines cannot be extended, many can be, and should be to minimize the impact of the Patent Office mistake. 
A Rules Fix:  It is therefore proposed that a new 37 CFR § 1.6(b) (currently “reserved”) be added to the Code of Federal Regulations:   “Where any deadline for response to an Office Action falls in the period December 22-24, 2015, and provided the Office has the statutory authority to extend such deadline, any response filed by December 28, 2015, shall be deemed a timely response.”
Regards,
Hal