The nation's largest vehicle auction company is swapping charges of patent infringement with an online auction service.
In a federal lawsuit filed last month, Manheim accuses Auction Management Solutions of infringing on Manheim's online auction system. The system allows dealerships to take part in Internet auctions.
Auction Management sued Manheim in March, alleging Manheim's Simulcast remote bidding system is strikingly similar to the OnLine Ringman system it created.
Separately, Manheim is suing Copart Inc. for patent infringement. The lawsuit alleges that Copart's VB2 online bidding system infringes on technology that Manheim owns.
Manheim filed the suits in U.S. District Court in its home city of Atlanta.
Auction Management of Tampa, Fla., brought its lawsuit against Manheim in the same court.
Auction Management CEO Nancy Rabenold says Manheim bases its claims on a patent it got when it acquired ADT Automotive Inc. in 2000. ADT, once the third-largest wholesale auto auction company, created the ADT Lion online auction network.
"Given the nature and breadth of our pending claims against Manheim, we weren't surprised with this attempt to shift the focus of the pending litigation," Rabenold says.
Copart, of Fairfield, Calif., said in a statement that Manheim's complaint lacks merit.
Manheim would not comment on the litigation. Its lawsuit alleges that Auction Management failed to comply with patent law requirements related to its online technology.
Manheim operates 85 U.S. auctions.