Nokia has sued two European manufacturers for infringing on its patents and designs. Separate lawsuits were filed against Vitelcom and Sagem.

Nokia accuses Vitelcom of infringing on its patents for GSM and GPRS. "Nokia has invested considerable time, energy and resources in its own R&D, which has yielded many significant inventions and allowed Nokia to build one of the industry's largest portfolios of technology patents," said Nokia VP Ilkka Rahnasto. "Vitelcom should play by the rules and license needed intellectual property. In this situation, it has become necessary to take the dispute to the courts. We believe Vitelcom is using Nokia patented technologies without authority from or compensation to Nokia."

Nokia is seeking monetary damages and an injunction against the sale and marketing of an unspecified number of Vitelcom phones. "We can't say at this point what the size of the damages could be," said a spokeswoman. "This depends on the volume of sales."

Unlike the Vitelcom dispute over patent infringements, the Sagem complaint concerns unauthorised use of registered designs. "This has nothing to do with patented technology but rather with registered designs that can be viewed as patents," said the spokeswoman, but she declined to comment on the size of the damages sought from Sagem or on any possible timetable for both cases.

Sagem and Vitelcom have yet to publicly reply to the lawsuits.