Smart cards

The European Patent Organisation provides authorised users of its Online Services with smart cards for use with digital signatures.

Smart cards are highly secure devices that encrypt signatures. To add your digital signature, all you have to do is insert your smart card into the reader and type your PIN when prompted (you will need to have installed the smart card software first before you can do this).

Online Services smart cards are created by a certification agency. They contain:

  • the user's private key
  • the user's public key
  • a certificate confirming that this public key has been allocated to the user

All users must have their own smart card. If there are several people within one company with the right to sign and/or submit patent applications, they must each have their own card.

Inserting your smart card

Before you insert your card, make sure that your smart card reader is switched on and working properly. The light on the side of the reader should be blinking. Once you have inserted your card, the light will stop blinking.

Smart card actions

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