Patent Battle Over COVID-19 Vaccine Continues Into 2023
According to a report from Reuters, the patent battle over the COVID-19 vaccine will continue into 2023. Moderna has sued Pfizer and BioNTech for a purported breach of three of its patents related to the development of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Not only is this a high-dollar IP dispute, it has important implications for patent law in regards to the development of new technologies. Here, our Florida patent litigation attorney provides an overview of the IP battle over the COVID-19 vaccine.
Moderna Alleges Pfizer/BioNTech Violated its Patent in Development of mRNA
According to data from Bloomberg, more than 12.6 billion COVID-19 vaccination shots were given as of fall of 2022. A significant share of these shots have been the mRNA vaccines—which are produced by Moderna and Pfizer. Moderna contends that Pfizer—as well as another competitor called BioNTech—violated its patent in the development and production of the mRNA vaccine. A major patent law battle is set to be heard by the courts in 2023.
A Patent is an Important Form of Intellectual Property (Protects Innovative Invention)
A patent is a key form of intellectual property. A patent grants the exclusive right over an invention for a set period of time. In order to qualify for a patent, an invention must be new, non-obvious, innovative, and comprehensively described within the initial patent application. Beyond following these requirements, the inventor(s) seeking the patient must also complete the proper procedures in the filing process—including paying fees and meeting deadlines.
Patent infringement occurs when someone makes, uses, sells, or imports an invention that is protected by a valid patent without the permission of the patent owner. In order to prove infringement, a claimant must show that they own a valid patent and that the commercial conduct of the defendant constitutes infringement.
Basis of the Lawsuit: Moderna Filed Several Patents Between 2010 and 2016
According to the complaint filed by Moderna, the company obtained patents for several innovative medical inventions between 2010 and 2016. As stated in the lawsuit, the patents in question cover much of the foundation for Moderna’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The patent infringement complaint contends that Pfizer and BioNTech improperly infringed upon the patent protected technology without proper authorization.
The stakes in this case are significant. Both Moderna and Pfizer have more than $10 billion in revenue from their mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Moderna is seeking purely money damages for the patent infringement claim—the company is not seeking an injunction to stop the sale or distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines by Pfizer or BioNTech.
Get Help From a Patent Litigation Lawyer in South Florida
At Perkins Law, our South Florida patent litigation attorney is standing by, ready to protect your rights and help you take the best course of action. Give us a phone call now or connect with us online to set up a confidential, no strings attached consultation. From our Boca Raton office, we provide patent dispute representation in Broward County and throughout South Florida.