TELECOMS

Qwest, Union Begin Negotiations

Qwest Communications International and the Communications Workers of American began negotiating a new contract for nearly 25,000 workers. The union is seeking an increase in base pay -- the first in nearly five years -- and the preservation of health care benefits. The current contract expires Aug. 13.

INTERNET

Juniper's Credit Rating Boosted

Standard & Poor's raised the credit rating of Juniper Networks, the world's second-largest maker of equipment to direct Internet traffic, two levels, to BB from B+. The rating covers the company's $620 million in debt and capitalized operating leases, S&P said. BB-rated debt is two levels below investment grade.

NETWORKING

Cisco to Outsource More to China

Cisco Systems, the world's biggest maker of computer networking equipment, plans to increase China's share of its outsourcing budget to 40 percent by the end of next year, a company executive said. Jia-Bin Duh, president of Cisco's China operations, said the company spent about $5 billion on outsourcing in China in 2004, or 25 percent of its worldwide total.

LEGAL

U.S. Rejects 2 NTP Patents

An attorney for patent holding company NTP confirmed that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected two more of its patents involved in an infringement case against Research in Motion, which makes BlackBerry handhelds. The patent office has challenged four of the five patents RIM was ruled to have violated. RIM and NTP agreed to a $450 million settlement of the dispute in March.

IMAGING

Kodak, Belgian Firm in Digital Deal

Barco, a Belgian company that is one of four makers of digital cinema projectors worldwide, said it and Eastman Kodak will sell digital cinema products and services. Barco will be in charge of European sales and Kodak will handle U.S. sales.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.