This is one of the weirder claims in the already strange area of patent claims going on around cellphone technology lately. A company based in New Jersey named Golden Bridge Technologies has come forward saying that it owns patents on some technologies that were eventually used to create the 3G phone protocol standard, and that it's holding device manufacturers such as Apple, Barnes & Noble, and others accountable for the patents. A complaint filed in California earlier this week says that Golden Bridge's patent covers 3G tech, and that anyone using that tech owes them money.
You can find a full copy of the complaint online. This is just the beginning of the legal battle. Presumably Apple and the other companies in the complaint will try to either contest the patent itself or the claim that they used it illicitly.