Moderna accuses Pfizer and BioNTech of infringing their mRNA patents

Moderna sued on Friday, August 26 both Pfizer and BioNTech, claiming that their Covid vaccine copied its groundbreaking technology. Moderna said in a statement that Pfizer and BioNTech infringed on patents filed between 2010 and 2016 that covered its mRNA technology. Moderna, which is based in Cambridge, Mass., sued in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts and the Regional Court of Düsseldorf in Germany, where BioNTech is based.

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

Messenger RNA, or mRNA, is the genetic script that carries DNA instructions to each cell’s protein-making machinery and has been used in the production of coronavirus vaccines.

The lawsuit is based on three patents – U.S. Patents 10,898,574, 10,702,600 and 10,933,127 which claim priority to applications filed between 2011 and 2016 covering Moderna’s intellectual property. Moderna is seeking damages for revenue Pfizer and BioNTech derived from sales in the United States that are not subject to 28 U.S.C. § 1498 and from its domestic manufacture for supply to non-AMC 92 countries outside the United States. The other complaint was filed in Germany for the District Court of Düsseldorf.

Here is the US complaint, drafted by the attorneys for the plaintiffs: WilmerHale (Boston, MA) headed by Bill Lee:

Loader Loading…
EAD Logo Taking too long?

Reload Reload document
| Open Open in new tab

From The American Lawyer:

While the firm has previously represented Moderna in patent litigation, Wilmer partner Bill Lee, the lead lawyer on the complaint filed in Massachusetts federal court Friday morning, has a history representing Pfizer. In 2013, Lee, a former co-managing partner at Wilmer, led Pfizer to a $2.15 billion patent infringement settlement with generic drug makers.

Wilmer spokesperson Molly Nunes on Friday said that Lee’s past work on behalf of Pfizer does not pose any conflicts in the current representation.