Cellphone maker Nokia has charged Apple with infringing Nokia patents, accusing the iPhone maker of trying to hitch a "free-ride" on Nokia's technology investments.

Nokia dominates the global handset market but it has lost some ground to new smartphone entrants like Apple, which entered the market with its iPhone in mid-2007.

The 10 patents in the lawsuit, filed Oct. 22, relate to technologies fundamental to devices using GSM, UMTS and/or wireless local area network (LAN) standards, Nokia said.

In its complaint -- filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware -- Nokia said it was seeking compensation for Apple's use of the patents and a declaration that Nokia is entitled to an injunction until Apple pays compensation, along with interest, for past infringement. It did not specify an amount.

"Apple's wireless communication devices take advantage of the decades of continued investments by Nokia to build today's communication protocols," Nokia said in the filing. "By refusing to compensate Nokia for its patented technologies, Apple is attempting to get a 'free-ride' on the billions of dollars that Nokia has invested."

Apple declined to comment on the lawsuit.

"It's quite likely Nokia has a case," said Tero Kuittinen, an analyst with MKM Partners. "Plenty of companies come to handset manufacturing and don't pay for all the IP in early years. Several Asian vendors started paying GSM licence fees years after they began manufacturing GSM phones."

The patents cover wireless data, speech coding, security and encryption and are infringed upon by all iPhone models shipped since the iPhone was introduced in 2007, Nokia said. About 40 companies have entered into licence agreements with Nokia, including virtually all the leading handset vendors, but it has not struck a deal with Apple. In its court filing, Nokia said it made various offers to Apple for a licence agreement, which Apple rejected.

"This is about competition against Apple," said Alfred Zaher, partner and intellectual property attorney at Blank Rome LLP in Pennsylvania. He added that if Apple settles the lawsuit, it may represent tens of millions of dollars, at most, over a 10-year period.