A US federal judge may have found a way to curb patent trolls by forcing law firms to pay legal bills.

A US federal court judge has ruled that a patent troll's lawyers are personally responsible for paying legal fines, in a bid to make law firms think twice about representing trollsiStock

A US federal judge may have finally found a way to get rid of patent trolls – force their lawyers to pay all the legal bills incurred by lawsuits, rather than permitting trolls to pay their legal representatives using a portion of their winnings.

Patent trolls are the scourge of the global technology industry.

They exist primarily to make money by buying up loads of vague patents that they don't intend to ever actually use, in order to try to bully companies by claiming that the victim has violated a patent's copyright.

When a company actually invents a product with an interesting new function, the patent troll looks through its catalogue and picks a vague patent that might possibly encompass the new function to threaten the company with a lawsuit.

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