The company said it filed several complaints against Apple in Germany and the United States. Nokia said since agreeing to a license covering some patents in 2011, Apple has declined subsequent offers to license its technology, which it said are used in many of Apple's products.
In response, an Apple spokesperson said in part, "We respect intellectual property and we've always been willing to pay a fair price to secure the rights of patents covering technology in our products. Unfortunately, Nokia has refused to license their patents on a fair basis and is now using the tactics of a patent troll to attempt to extort money from Apple by applying a royalty rate to Apple's own inventions they had nothing to do with."
Nokia's lawsuits, filed in courts in Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich, Germany and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, cover patents for displays, user interfaces, software, antennas, chipsets and video coding.
Nokia said through its investments in research and development, it has contributed many fundamental technologies used in Apple's products.
"After several years of negotiations trying to reach agreement to cover Apple's use of these patents, we are now taking action to defend our rights," Ilkka Rahnasto, head of patent business at Nokia, said in a statement.
Shares of Nokia were down 2 percent Wednesday in afternoon trade. Apple's stock was little changed.
—Reuters contributed to this report.