Autobytel Sues For Patent Infringement, Drop Quarterly Estimates

Irvine-based Autobytel announced this morning that it has filed a patent infringement suite against Dealix Corporation. The company claims that the competitor is infringing upon a patent it received in 2001 for matching customers and sellers in purchasing goods and services over the Internet and other computer networks. Separately, the company announced that its estimates for fiscal year 2004 should no longer be relied upon, and that it expects 2005 year guidance to be "substantially lower" than previous guidance. The company blamed higher than expected operating costs, customer acquisition costs, and costs related to compliance with Sarbanes Oxley.