Nokia has already sounded off on the technical advantages of the nano-SIM standard it's pushing, but now the Finnish phone manufacturer is attacking Apple's competing effort from an intellectual property stance as well. In comments made to IDG, a Nokia spokesman questioned the worth of Apple's proposal due to its lack of reliance on any patents held by the company:

"We are not aware of any Apple Intellectual Property which it considers essential to its nano-SIM proposal. In light of this, Apple's proposal for royalty-free licensing seems no more than an attempt to devalue the intellectual property of others."

However, as we reported yesterday, Apple's nano-SIM proposal is essentially "a micro-SIM stripped of virtually all its plastic," which wouldn't necessarily be much grounds for a patent application in itself. Nokia is claiming that Apple's plan to license its nano-SIM patents royalty-free is simply designed to undermine the rival proposal (also backed by RIM and Motorola), but if Cupertino feels that building off existing technology is the way to go, it's difficult to see what other course it could take in good faith. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) will be voting on the matter later this week, so we don't have long to find out which company will win the argument.