LEGAL

Judge to Review RIM Settlement

A federal judge in New York will review a disputed $450 million settlement between Research in Motion and NTP that threatens to halt domestic sales of RIM's BlackBerry.

RIM has been trying to stall the case ever since U.S. District Judge James Spencer ruled in 2003 that it had infringed on several patents held by NTP.

The companies settled, but the terms were never finalized.

Spencer's comments yesterday signal that he is unlikely to stay the case, said Citigroup analyst Daryl Armstrong, raising the possibility of an injunction on U.S. BlackBerry sales.

The popular handheld e-mail devices accounted for about 70 percent of RIM's revenue for the June-to-August quarter.

APPOINTMENTS

Liberty Names Oracle's Maffei CEO

Liberty Media, the cable television broadcaster controlled by billionaire John C. Malone, named Oracle's Gregory B. Maffei, right, its next chief executive. Maffei, 45, who quit as Oracle's finance chief last week, will become chief executive and president in the second quarter.

Liberty also posted a third-quarter $94 million loss after earning $372 million in the corresponding quarter a year earlier.

The company said it will issue a tracking stock for some of its businesses.

Cisco Systems posted lower fiscal first-quarter earnings but higher sales after the network equipment maker was required to take into account the expense of employee stock options for the first time. For the quarter ended Oct. 29, Cisco earned $1.26 billion, down from $1.4 billion in the comparable quarter a year ago. Sales jumped 10 percent, to $6.55 billion from $5.97 billion. If the stock-option-expensing rule had been in effect last year, the company said, it would have posted earnings of $1.12 billion in that period.

Ipix of Reston, which provides 360-degree video for surveillance, lost $5.2 million (20 cents a share) in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $3.4 million (18 cents) a year ago. Revenue increased 2 percent, to $1.5 million.

XO Communications of Reston, a phone service provider that plans to shift its focus to fixed wireless technology, lost $30.6 million (19 cents a share) in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $41.8 million (24 cents) a year earlier. Revenue fell 8.5 percent, to $358.7 million.

Optelecom-NKF of Germantown, a provider of fiber-optic communications systems for surveillance and business use, reported a profit of $774,184 (23 cents a share) in the third quarter, up from $568,580 (17 cents). Revenue increased 69 percent, to $9.4 million.

Celsion, a Columbia biotechnology company seeking to use focused heat to treat cancer, lost $2 million (1 cent a share) in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $3.3 million (2 cents) a year earlier. Revenue increased to $3.2 million from $540,000.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.