LEGAL

High Court Won't Hear Microsoft Appeal

Microsoft lost a U.S. Supreme Court bid to slash $360 million from the potential award in a lawsuit that says the company's Internet Explorer browser relies on technology patented by the University of California.

The justices turned away Microsoft's appeal to limit any damages by excluding foreign-distributed copies of Explorer from the award calculation.

Microsoft was ordered in January 2004 to pay $565 million to the university and its partner, Eolas Technologies, after losing a jury trial.

Motorola Settles Suit With Former President

Motorola said it has agreed to settle a lawsuit against former president Mike S. Zafirovski, above, for $11.5 million cash and other requirements.

Motorola earlier this month sued Zafirovski, claiming his new job as chief executive of Nortel Networks could risk disclosure of Motorola's trade secrets. Nortel was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

DEFENSE

SAP Challenges Oracle's Air Force Contract

SAP filed a protest with the U.S. government over a project awarded to Oracle, saying it had offered a "superior" product.

SAP asked the Government Accountability Office on Oct. 28 to review the $88.5 million Air Force contract, the company said. Oracle was named the winning bidder Oct. 20.

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Level 3 to Buy WilTel Communications

Level 3 Communications agreed to buy WilTel Communications Group for $680.5 million to expand its fiber-optic network and enable it to better compete with larger telephone carriers.

Leucadia National, owner of WilTel, will receive 115 million shares of Level 3 and $370 million in cash, Level 3 said.

COMPUTERS

Dell Lowers Profit Outlook

Blaming weakness in its U.S. consumer and British business operations, Dell said it expects to post a profit of 25 cents a share, including 14 cents a share in charges related to restructuring and a defective product.

Previously, the company forecast a profit range of 39 cents to 41 cents a share.

Fuji Photo Film reported a 37 percent drop in profit for the first six months of its fiscal year from the comparable period a year earlier, to $286 million. Sales at the company, which did not break down quarterly numbers, rose 4 percent, to $11 billion.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.