Starting February 15, PKI certificates will no longer be used for authentication into EFS-Web and Private PAIR. Patent applicants and practitioners will use USPTO.gov accounts instead. This will improve security, be better for browser compatibility, and save time via consolidation. On March 1, the migration of PKI certificates to USPTO.gov accounts stops. Rather than linking to the PKI certificate and transferring the information it contains, all customers will go through the new process to get a verified USPTO.gov account. Learn more on February 28 in a session with the USPTO’s eCommerce Modernization team.
If you are new to patent applications and don't know what a PKI certificate is, you can disregard all of this and get started with a USPTO.gov account!