With the patent reform battle out of the way, both Congress and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office are weighing the tricky question of whether states should be held liable for violations of intellectual property rights.

The Courts and Intellectual Property Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee is slated to take up the issue at a Feb. 17 hearing, according to a GOP Capitol Hill source. Before then, the source said, subcommittee chairman Howard Coble (R-N.C.) will “likely” introduce a House version of the Intellectual Property Restoration Act, S. 1835.