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EPO's Online Services – Issuing of New Smart Cards Discontinued

03-Jan-2024 | Source : The European Patent Office (EPO) | Visits : 632

MUNICH - The European Patent Office (EPO) is changing the way users access its online services, making it even easier for applicants to conduct their EPO business online.

According to the official website of EPO, all users today can use their physical smart card and/or two-factor authentication (2FA) to access our online services. In future, 2FA will become the default method, thus making the digitalized patent granting process even more convenient by rendering obsolete the need to have a smart card at hand. In the first step towards this milestone, the issuing of new smart cards has been discontinued as of January 1, 2024.  

What to expect and next steps: 

New smart cards will no longer be issued – this includes the renewal of expired smart cards and the replacement of lost cards. An exception will be made for users already filing with national offices that do not offer an alternative to the EPO smart card: in such cases, we will continue to accept requests to renew smart cards or to replace them until 18.00 hrs CEST on Monday, September 30, 2024 
Unexpired smart cards can be used until December 31, 2024. 
From January 1, 2025 onwards, users will no longer be able to use their smart cards, which will be discontinued entirely. All users will sign into our online services using two-factor authentication.  

Full information can be found on our website.  


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