Patent trolls are companies that buy patents that are vague in description and then use those to sue other companies that create a product that the trolling company claims is infringing on the patent they own. The trolling company thereby forces the other company to pay a licensing fee to create its product, or sues it for infringement. When the patent trolls lose lawsuits, for example where a court finds that the other company is not infringing, the trolling companies often got away without paying legal fees by claiming the company had no money. In a recent federal case in the southern district of New York, a judge ruled that the prevailing company can now seek payment of legal fees from the trolling company's lawfirm and attorneys. This is the first decision of its kind and the first to hold the patent trolling companies (or rather their attorneys) accountable for devious actions they take by suing a large number of companies in order to make money on often faulty claims of patent infringement. This should hopefully have the affect of deterring lawfirms from taking on cases for patent trolls when they know they are frivolous as they will likely get stuck with paying the legal fees at the end of the lawsuit.
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