A jury in the US state of Delaware has found that Apple's iPhone infringes three patents that are held by patent-licencing firm MobileMedia Ideas.
The firm holds patents for struggling Japanese giant Sony and Nokia, among others.
The jury took only a few hours to reach its verdict after a week-long trial heard at the US District Court for the District of Delaware, said Bloomberg.
"We're very pleased," MobileMedia's CEO Larry Horn said in a courtroom interview after the trial. "We think it's justified," he added.
The three patents cover a range of functions: US Patent 6253075, "a method and apparatus for rejecting incoming calls for use in mobile communications device", which was assigned to Nokia; US Patent 6427078, also assigned to Nokia, which covers "devices for personal communication, data collection and data processing ... the device also comprises a camera unit" – in other words a camera phone; Sony was issued with US Patent 6070068, which covers "communication terminal device and method for controlling a connecting state of a call into a desired connection state upon a predetermined operation by a user".
The jury disagreed with Apple's assertion that all three patents were invalid but damages have not yet been awarded to MobileMedia. Apple is yet to offer a statement but is likely to appeal the ruling.
MobileMedia Ideas claims that it owns more than 300 patents worldwide including innovations for mobile devices such as call handling, speed dial functions and database searches. It says it also has patents for other portable devices such as e-book readers, cameras and portable game consoles.