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Street stocks up on box stox

Winning ruling helps company's fiscal bottom line

NEW YORK — Shares of set-top box maker Scientific-Atlanta gained nearly 20% Friday after the company scored another patent dispute victory over Gemstar-TV Guide Intl. on the same day it announced stellar sales of digital boxes and robust quarterly earnings.

Gemstar on Friday was rebuffed by an Atlanta District Court for the second time this month in its ongoing patent disputes with S-A concerning elements of Gemstar’s interactive program guide (Daily Variety, July 2). The judge ruled once again that S-A had not infringed a Gemstar patent for its onscreen guide.

Wall Street, already accustomed to Gemstar’s legal travails, traded the stock down only 6¢ while celebrating S-A’s bullish fiscal fourth quarter. Strength of the box provider’s earnings turnaround suggests strong demand by cable operators, especially Cablevision, which has recently stepped up its orders.

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