Moderna sues two competitors for 'patent infringement' over COVID vaccine technology

Moderna sues two competitors for 'patent infringement' over COVID vaccine technology

On Friday, August 26, Moderna announced that it had filed a lawsuit against two of its competitors: Pfizer and BioNTech, alleging that that the companies copied technology that Moderna developed before the COVID-19 pandemic but used in its COVID-19 vaccine.

According to Axios, Moderna “is seeking unspecified monetary damages for patent infringement.”

“It said its lawsuit is not seeking to take its competitors' vaccine off the market or an injunction to stop its future sale,” Axios reports. “The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts as well as in Germany, said Moderna filed for patents between 2010 and 2016 for its ‘foundational’ mRNA technology. It alleges Pfizer and BioNTech later ‘copied’ Moderna's invention without its permission in developing its competing coronavirus shots, according to a news release.”

READ MORE: Long COVID-19 may be caused by overactive immune systems

In Moderna’s August 26 press release, CEO Stéphane Bancel said, “We are filing these lawsuits to protect the innovative mRNA technology platform that we pioneered, invested billions of dollars in creating, and patented during the decade preceding the COVID-19 pandemic.”

When COVID-19 vaccines became widely available in the United States in 2021, the government-approved options for vaccines included Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. President Joe Biden and his top White House medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, have been persistent in urging Americans to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan, China in late 2019. Since then, the pandemic has, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, killed more than 6.4 million people worldwide — including over 1 million people in the United States.

READ MORE: Just when you thought the pandemic was over, new COVID-19 subvariants continue to emerge: report

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