EPO's online services – issuing of new smart cards discontinued

As previously announced, 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.  

Today, all users 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 digitalised 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 now been discontinued.  

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, 30 September 2024 
  • Unexpired smart cards can be used until 31 December 2024. 
  • From 1 January 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.  

How to make the switch 

Further information and an FAQ guide are available via the resources listed below.  

We advise all smart card users to switch to two-factor authentication as soon as possible. Follow these steps to make the switch.  

The MyEPO journey so far 

Our two-year roadmap outlines the upcoming services and features that will enhance the digital user journey and make it easier for patent applicants, opponents and representatives to conduct their EPO business.