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After proving it can still innovate in the smartphone arena with the Lumia 900, Nokia is now getting aggressive about defending its patents. The company announced this morning that it has filed patent suits against HTC, Research in Motion, and Viewsonic in the U.S. and Germany.

“We have already licensed our standards essential patents to more than 40 companies,” Nokia’s chief legal officer Louise Pentland wrote in a statement this morning. “Though we’d prefer to avoid litigation, Nokia had to file these actions to end the unauthorized use of our proprietary innovations and technologies, which have not been widely licensed.”

While patent litigation is becoming tiresome, it makes sense for Nokia to fight for compensation and potential licensing deals given its poor showing last quarter, where it saw a loss of $1.7 billion.

Nokia is suing for infringements on 45 patents, including hardware features like “dual function antennas, power management and multimode radios,” and software features that include multitasking, navigation, and application stores. Pentland called many of the patents “fundamental” to Nokia’s products — a sign that the company won’t back down easily.

Specifically, Nokia issued a complaint to the ITC against HTC; filed suit against Viewsonic and HTC in a Delaware federal court;  filed suit against RIM and HTC in the Regional Court in Dusseldorf, Germany; and filed suit against all three companies in the Regional Courts in Mannheim and Munich, Germany.

Update:RIM declined to comment on litigation. HTC issued the following statement: “HTC has been a licensee of Nokia on wireless essential patents since 2003. We are waiting to receive a complaint and won’t have any comments until our legal team has received and reviewed it.”

A Viewsonic representative sent us the following statement as well: “ViewSonic is aware of this legal action. We are taking appropriate measures to protect our interests.”

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