* Intelsat confirmed that it laid off 138 people, or about 13 percent of its staff, on Monday. Most of the employees worked out of the satellite company's offices in Northwest Washington. Intelsat, which sells telephone and video broadcasting services, will employ 892 people after the reductions, which were across all departments. The layoffs were related to Intelsat's transition last year from an organization owned by its member governments into a private company, said spokeswoman Susan Gordon. The company laid off 100 people in October 2001.
* Nortel Networks filed a lawsuit accusing Ciena, a smaller Columbia-based rival fiber-optic equipment maker, of using Nortel's patented inventions without permission. Nortel claims that several of Ciena's products, which move and direct information through optical networks, rely on Nortel research protected by eight patents, according to the federal lawsuit filed Nov. 27 in Marshall, Tex. Nortel seeks damages and a court order blocking Ciena from selling any products that infringe on the patents. Glenn Jasper, spokesman for Linthicum, Md.-based Ciena, said the company doesn't comment on issues concerning litigation. Also named in the suit is Ciena's Plano, Tex.-based Ciena Communications unit, which coordinates worldwide sales for its parent. Shares of Brampton, Ontario-based Nortel fell 6 cents to close at $2.24 on the New York Stock Exchange. Ciena shares fell 67 cents, to $5.95, on the Nasdaq Stock Market. In August, Ciena reported an 89 percent drop in third-quarter sales, and in September the company said it fired 17 percent of its workers to cut costs. In October, Nortel reported its 11th straight quarterly loss and said third-quarter sales fell 36 percent. Moody's Investors Service lowered Nortel's credit ratings on $5 billion in debt in November on concerns that revenue was falling too fast.
* Human Genome Sciences, the Rockville biotechnology company, said it has acquired rights to a series of compounds it hopes to develop into cancer treatments. Under the terms of the deal, HGS and the pharmaceutical division of Japan's Kirin Brewery Co. will attempt to turn the compounds, known as antibodies, into products that signal cancer cells to self-destruct. The agreement requires Kirin and HGS to pay each other royalties for sales of any product.
Compiled from reports by Washington Post staff writers, washingtonpost.com and Bloomberg News