The dispute between Apple and Nokia regarding patents claimed by the latter company to have been used without permission within the iPhone seems set to continue for “over a year” analysts say.

In its form 10Q filed last night, Apple responded that it will defend itself against Nokia’s patent lawsuit “vigorously”.

At issue: Nokia claims ownership of ten patented technologies applied within the iPhone, and insists Apple hasn’t paid the relevant royalties for these uses. Patents include those for wireless data transfer, speech coding, security and encryption.

Nokia filed suit against Apple in the United States last week, accusing Apple of hitching a "free ride" on Nokia’s technology investment.

Bill Merritt, the head of mobile licensing firm InterDigital said he’d be surprised if anything gets sorted out quickly in this case, suggesting the patent spat could continue for years.

Analysts estimate Nokia’s demands for compensation range from $200 million to $1 billion. Merritt notes the high selling price of the iPhone would also be considered in assessing how much any royalty payments should be, assuming Nokia prevails in the case.

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