Qualcomm paid a lobbyist $740,000 during the first half of 2007 to lobby the federal government on patent reform legislation and Broadcom's infringement case before the ITC. The lobbyist, William Wichteman, works for Covington & Burling. Wichteman previously served as a policy adviser to former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. Wichteman lobbied Congress, the Department of Transportation, the FCC, the U.S. Trade Representative's office and the White House.
News that Qualcomm spent nearly three-quarters of a million dollars on lobbying for a case it eventually lost, is only the latest in a string of troubles for the chipset maker. Qualcomm has been engaged in legal battles on multiple fronts regarding patent infringement on Broadcom's technology. Recently the White House upheld a ban put in place by the ITC, which limited shipments of phones and chips that use Qualcomm's chipset technology. In the fallout Qualcomm's general counsel resigned and Verizon Wireless inked a deal with Broadcom to license the technology Qualcomm was found to infringe on so that the carrier could continue business as usual. Nokia just recently asked the ITC to ban Qualcomm chipsets that it says infringe on its technology, too.
For more on Qualcomm's lobbyist:
- read this article from the AP
ITC ban detrimental to Qualcomm, wireless industry. Article
Qualcomm: Sprint could lose $2 billion from ITC ban. Article
Qualcomm posts a 14 percent hike in profits. Article
What's eating Qualcomm Inc.? Editorial