Patents

BlackBerry Settlement Stalls

Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry e-mail pager, said it had reached an impasse over a settlement with NTP, raising concern that sales of the devices in America could be halted.

Research in Motion had agreed in March to pay NTP $450 million to end a patent dispute that could have shut off U.S. sales, which make up 75 percent of its revenue. RIM said in a statement that it is asking a judge to enforce that deal.

Acquisitions

Computer Associates Buys Niku

Computer Associates International agreed to buy Niku for $350 million to add software that monitors computer systems.

Customers including Coca-Cola and HSBC Holdings use Niku's Clarity program to evaluate costs and benefits of computer networks.

The purchase should help Computer Associates add to sales growth after settling Justice Department fraud charges and changing its top management. It is the fourth company Computer Associates has bought in the past year.

Computer Associates agreed to pay $21 per share for Niku, a premium of 27 percent over its Wednesday closing stock price of $16.50.

Earnings

National Semiconductor Profit Up

National Semiconductor's fourth-quarter profit rose 40 percent because of tax benefits and gains from recent asset sales, the company said.

Profit increased to $132.1 million, compared with $94.2 million a year earlier -- even though revenue dropped 18 percent, to $467 million, for the period ended May 29.

Sales have fallen for three straight quarters because of the company's decision to shed less-profitable businesses focused on imaging and personal computers and because of a glut of chips last year and in early 2005.

Intel Raises Revenue Forecast

In another sign the semiconductor industry is gaining strength, Intel boosted its second-quarter revenue forecast on better-than-expected demand for the chips that power notebook computers.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company said it now expects sales to be between $9.1 billion and $9.3 billion for the period ending July 2. In April, it predicted sales of between $8.6 billion and $9.2 billion.

INTERNET

Groups Challenge Utah's Porn-Blocking Law

Civil liberties, publishing and other groups filed a federal challenge to a Utah law that requires Internet service providers to give customers software filters for blocking pornographic Web sites.

Their lawsuit claims that many Web sites deemed harmful to minors share the same computer servers and Internet addresses as unrelated sites that contain no pornography, and that blocking one site can block them all.

Lawyers say Utah's statute is worse than some laws already struck down in other states because it provides no way for Web sites to appeal judgments made by Utah's attorney general about what constitutes a pornographic site.

Microsoft, Apple Patching Holes

In washingtonpost.com's Security Fix blog: Apple Computer released nearly a dozen software patches for its Mac OS X operating system. And Microsoft said it will release 10 software patches for its Windows operating system next Tuesday. For details, go to www.washingtonpost.com/securityfix.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.

BlackBerry's maker wants to settle.