Nokia struck out at its competitors Wednesday, announcing a handful of patent suits leveled against HTC, Research in Motion and ViewSonic in the U.S. and Germany.

The company said that the suits cover 45 patents that deal with several important cellphone technologies.

According to a company statement: “[These] patents are being used by the companies to enable hardware capabilities such as dual function antennas, power management and multimode radios, as well as to enhance software features including application stores, multitasking, navigation, conversational message display, dynamic menus, data encryption and retrieval of email attachments on a mobile device.”

Nokia has been sliding in the industry, and recently lost its spot as the world’s top cellphone maker, losing marketshare to Samsung and Apple.

The company’s partnership with Microsoft, embodied by the Nokia Lumia 900, has yet to take off and the company may be turning to litigation as a strategy to hang on and collect licensing fees while it sees how the bet plays out.

Louise Pentland, chief legal officer at Nokia indicated in a statement that licensing fees are the eventual aim of the company’s cases. “We have already licensed our standards essential patents to more than 40 companies. 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,” she said in a statement.

HTC, Research in Motion and ViewSonic did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the suit.

Related stories:

Samsung, Apple top Nokia in smartphone shipments

Nokia Lumia 900: The pros and cons

VentureBeat: Nokia innovation exec on Windows Phone: “We’re playing to win.”