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Nokia who are struggling to compete up against a surging Apple have done the next best thing, by suing the US Company for allegedly infringing Nokia patents in its iPhone.

The legal action filed in the U.S. state of Delaware claims that 10 patents, relate to technologies fundamental for devices using GSM, UMTS and/or local area network (LAN) standards, have been breached by Apple.

“Nokia’s enormous patent portfolio doesn’t make this a big surprise but it could have severe repercussions for Apple and its component supplier,” said CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber. “Once again intellectual property has become the secondary battleground in a highly competitive mobile phone market.”

Reuters said that last year, Nokia ended a more than three-year legal battle with U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm which spanned three continents and involved more than a dozen separate cases. “It’s too early to tell, but it’s likely to be a drawn out battle. We have a hard time seeing a material risk to either company,” said Avian Securities analyst Matthew Thornton.

Nokia said 40 main handset vendors have licensed its technologies, but it has not reached agreement with Apple.

“By refusing to agree appropriate terms for Nokia’s intellectual property, Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation,” Ilkka Rahnasto, Vice President for Legal & Intellectual Property at Nokia, said in a statement.

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