Nokia is pursing legal action against Apple on the grounds that technology employed in iPhones infringes its copyrights.
According to the filing to a Federal District Court in Delaware, Nokia claims that iPhones infringe ten of its patents, covering wireless data, speech coding, security and encription-all of which have been features of Apple handsets since 2007.
The decision to sue comes after the two firms failed to reach agreement for Apple to pay a license fee allowing them to employ technology developed by Nokia's research and development departments.
Ilkka Rahnasto, Vice President of Legal & Intellectual Property at Nokia, said: "The basic principle in the mobile industry is that those companies who contribute in technology development to establish standards create intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for.
"Apple is also expected to follow this principle. By refusing to agree approriate terms for Nokia's intellectual property, Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia' innovation."
The case, which is believed to have been prompted in part by Nokia losing a significant proportion of its market share to Apple, is expected to come to court at the end of 2011.
By Jonathan Leggett,www.top10.co.uk