Apple has filed a counter-suit against Nokia, claiming the handset-maker is infringing 13 of its technology patents.
The suit is a widely-predicted response to a patent case filed by Nokia against the iPhone in October.
While the case almost inevitably will be settled by an out-of-court royalties deal between the two companies, it underscores the sea-change in the handset market this year.
Nokia is still the biggest smartphone player but its lead is being crimped by Apple, RIM and Android.
This year it posted a fall in sales for the first time in seven years, and it is still searching for a popular smartphone to go head to head with the iPhone, which has made Apple the world’s most profitable mobile phone manufacturer.
Nokia, which has a deep trove of wireless patents developed over the past 25 years, says Apple has infringed its wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption patents.
Nokia is one of the largest contributors to the wireless patent pool, but Apple says Nokia has been withholding these technologies in order to win access to key iPhone intellectual property, FT.com said.
“Apple is claiming that Nokia was seeking an unreasonable return by demanding a license to unrelated Apple know-how, including touch-sensitive technology that is not part of the 2G or 3G standards,” the FT said.
Apple’s counter-suit says Nokia is demanding “exorbitant royalties and “grantbacks’” of licences to Apple’s patented technology that are unrelated to any standard and should not be in the patent pool.