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 October.
While the case almost inevitably will be settled with an out-of-court deal on royalties 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.
It this year posted a fall in sales for the first time in seven years and lacks a popular handset to go head to head with the iPhone, which has made Apple the world’s most profitable mobile phone manufacturer.
Nokia, which has been making phones for more than 25 years, says Apple has infringed its wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption patents.
Because of its long history in the device business, Nokia is one of the largest contributors to the wireless patent pool.
“Apple is claiming that Nokia was seeking an unreasonable return by demanding a licence 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.