Spherix of Beltsville filed a protest last week over its loss to a Ticketmaster subsidiary in a second round of bidding for a contract to run the reservations system for U.S. national parks and recreation areas. Spherix had successfully demanded a rebidding of the contract after losing a first round. Also last week, Spherix won an $8 million contract to operate a reservations system for Pennsylvania state parks.

MarketResearch.com of Rockville acquired MindBranch of North Adams, Mass., its chief competitor in market-research aggregation. The niche involves gathering data from a variety of publishers and taking a commission on sales of the information to companies. Terms were not disclosed.

MindShift Technologies, a Fairfax information technology company, said it acquired Union Square Technology Group, a New York company that also provides technology services. Terms were not disclosed. MindShift said most of Union Square's clients are in the legal sector and that the company posted $8 million in revenue last year.

PRA International of Reston, which provides drug development services to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, has opened a new facility in Lenexa, Kan., that will house nearly 400 employees. Expansion is planned.

The Jefferson Hotel is now managed by Kor Hotel Group of Los Angeles. The company said it will be involved in a redesign of the 100-room hotel at 1200 16th St. NW.

Liquidity Services Inc., which provides online marketing and sale of wholesale and surplus goods, acquired Wholesale411a search engine.