"The Science and Technology Options Assessment (STOA) panel of the European Parliament will hold a conference on the European patent system in Brussels, Belgium, on 17 March. At the event, members of the European Parliament, experts and industry stakeholders will discuss issues of European intellectual property rights (IPR) and patents policy, such as the creation of a Community patent, enforcing patents, reducing the backlog of patents, and the use of existing patents. In 2007, the STOA panel published the final report on 'Policy options for the improvement of the European patent system'. Now, STOA has launched a new project entitled 'Current policy issues in the governance of the European patent system'. The conference is a first step in this project and will help to assess the current status of governance in the light of previous results."