The ten alleged patent infringements involve wireless data, speech coding, security, and encryption. Nokia said that it had agreements with around 40 firms allowing them to use certain innovations but that Apple had no such agreement.
"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," said Ilkka Rahnasto, Vice President, Legal & Intellectual Property at Nokia.
He added that during the last two decades, Nokia had invested approximately £36.2bn on research and development.
The action has been filed in the Federal District Court in Delaware. Apple's shares are said to have dipped after the news broke.