Moderna sues Pfizer over COVID-19 vaccine patent

Moderna filed a lawsuit Aug. 26 accusing Pfizer-BioNTech of using Moderna's patented mRNA technology for COVID-19 vaccines, according to court documents. 

In the lawsuit filed in Massachusetts, Moderna claims it was founded to develop mRNA technology and filed patents for it between 2011 and 2016, which Pfizer then "copied [...] without ever requesting a license."

The pharmaceutical company said in October 2020 that "while the pandemic continues, Moderna will not enforce our COVID-19 related patents against those making vaccines intended to combat the pandemic," according to the lawsuit.

Now that the pandemic is shifting to endemic status as COVID-19 case counts continue to fall, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement the company wants to protect the intellectual property it "pioneered, invested billions of dollars in creating and patented during the decade preceding the COVID-19 pandemic."

Moderna said it isn't asking for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to be removed from the market nor is it seeking damages from Pfizer's vaccine sales. The vaccinemaker asked the court to award Moderna monetary damages for the alleged patent infringements. 

"Pfizer/BioNTech has not yet fully reviewed the complaint, but we are surprised by the litigation given the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was based on BioNTech's proprietary mRNA technology and developed by both BioNTech and Pfizer," Pfizer told Becker's. "We remain confident in our intellectual property supporting the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and will vigorously defend against the allegations of the lawsuit."


Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars