Apple assembles the Dogs of Law

Apple is bolstering its legal might in the run-up to a gargantuan battle with cell-phone giant Nokia according to reports.

Bloomberg says that he iPhone-making outfit is beefing up its legal team in advance of the clash of the telecoms titans as they each bring tit-for-tat patent disputes before the International Trade Commission.

The Goliath vs Goliath battle is sure to be bigger, longer and nastier than your average patent troll vs international mega-corporation spat, and Apple is said to be putting out feelers to the world's top patent lawyers, including some who have been on the other side of the courtroom for previous Apple lawsuits.

Apple and the Finnish mobile maker have been firing broadsides at each other for years now, each accusing the other of stealing patented technology.

Leading the charge is Bruce Sewell who joined the Apple legal team after 15 years at chip giant Intel.

Apple has also added ex-Sun Microsystems counsel Noreen Krall to its payroll and secured the services of Robert Krupka of Kirkland & Ellis, William Lee of WilmerHale and Matt Powers of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP as outside counsel.

Sewell and his team will be kept busy over the coming months as Apple also has ongoing legal battles with some of the biggest players in the mobile market, including Motorola and HTC.

As usual, the long and costly legal battles will almost certainly end in both parties licensing each other's IP, making the lawyers substantially richer and passing on the costs to the consumer.