The world's top mobile phone maker Nokia said on Monday Britain's High Court had ruled in its favor in a patent dispute with IPCom, and it would now seek to recoup legal costs of the case from the German firm.

This is an important decision, as it is not possible to infringe an invalid patent, Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant said in a statement.

Nokia is pleased with these results, having won all patent infringement cases between Nokia and IPCom that have come to judgment, he said.

IPCom and Nokia have been fighting in several courts for the last three years over the patents and their validity.

IPCom said it would appeal the ruling.

We are convinced that the patents are also valid in the UK and will appeal this ruling, said Bernhard Frohwitter, managing director of IPCom.

The ruling only affects the validity of the patents in the UK. The injunctions that IPCom is pursuing in Germany against Nokia and also (smartphone maker) HTC are entirely unaffected by this ruling, Frohwitter said.

In December a district court in Mannheim, Germany, said Nokia and HTC are using IPCom patented technologies, but put on hold an IPCom request to ban the sale and distribution of Nokia handsets in Germany, pending final decisions on the validity of the patents by the European Patent Office. The decisions are due in 2010.

IPCom has acquired Bosch's mobile telephony patent portfolio, created between the mid-1980s and 2000, which includes about 160 patent families worldwide that are key for mobile communications standards.

(Reporting by Brett Young and Tarmo Virki; Editing by Will Waterman and Sharon Lindores)