Apple's had some peaks and valleys over the last few months, including the success of iPhone 5, confoundment over the iPad mini's price, record earnings and the departure of some of its top execs.

Now the Cupertino firm has a lawsuit breathing down its neck.

Intercarrier Communications (ICC) a Texas-based firm, has filed a suit in U.S. District Court that says Apple's FaceTime and Message apps infringe upon one of its patents.

The contested patent is called "Inter-Carrier messaging service providing phone number only experience," and essentially covers a method to send messages between users on different carriers using nothing but a phone number.

Trolling

ICC's filing claimed it "has been harmed by [Apple's] infringing activities."

The firm requested a jury trial and an unspecified amount in damages for past infringement and any continuing or future infringement, including interest, costs, expenses and other fees such as attorneys' fees.

Apple isn't ICC's only target: Patently Apple reported that in the past five days, it has filed suits against a score of other companies, including MobiWeb, Iris Wireless and Broadsoft.

In each suit, ICC has cited the same patent.

While ICC's claims may be warranted, there is a distinct possibility the firm is a "patent troll," a patent holder that aggressively or opportunistically persecutes accused violators without the intention to manufacture or market anything based off of the patent.

Apple is no stranger to lawsuits, and depending on the damages, should be able to flush some funds out of its recent $1.05 billion (around UK£664 million, AUD$1.01 billion) payday from Samsung.

TechRadar has reached out to Apple and will update this story if and when they company responds.

Via Patently Apple, CNET