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Pfizer’s Lawsuit Against Moderna Over COVID-19 Has Been Paused

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Pfizer's Lawsuit Against Moderna Over COVID-19 Has Been Paused

(CTN News) – A patent lawsuit filed by Moderna (MRNA.O) alleging that Pfizer (PFE.N), opens new tab and BioNTech (22UAy.DE), opens new tab copied its COVID-19 vaccine technology will be put on hold until the United States Intellectual Property Office determines whether two of the three Moderna patents at issue are valid, a Massachusetts federal court decided on Friday.

In accordance with the docket of the court, US Magistrate Richard Stearns stayed the closely watched case over Moderna’s objections on the grounds that the Patent Office’s rulings would “simplify” the patent-infringement litigation.

Representatives of Pfizer and BioNTech did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Moderna said it was disappointed with the pause, but “continues to believe in the strength and validity of its patents.”

As part of a 2022 lawsuit, Moderna accused Pfizer and BioNTech of violating its patent rights with regard to messenger-RNA technology. It is one of several lawsuits brought by biotech companies seeking patent royalties from the blockbuster COVID-19 vaccine.

During the last year, Moderna made $6.7 billion in revenue from the sale of its Spikevax vaccine, while Pfizer made $11.2 billion from sales of its Comirnaty vaccine. Both vaccines’ sales declined significantly last year compared to 2022.

In fending off infringement claims, defendants frequently turn to the United States Intellectual Property Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which reconsiders the validity of patents issued by the Office, as an alternative method to defend against claims of infringement. Earlier this year, Pfizer and BioNTech asked the board to review two Moderna patents, arguing that they were “unimaginably broad” and covered “an idea that was known long before” the date of their invention.

It was agreed last month that both patents would be reviewed. In general, office review proceedings last between one year and 18 months, and Pfizer requested that the Massachusetts court suspend Moderna’s infringement case during the office review process.

Stearns has indicated that the infringement trial could take place in the autumn or early winter. Moderna opposed Pfizer’s request, arguing that a stay would be “highly prejudicial” and will unnecessarily delay the proceedings.

Stearns granted Pfizer’s request on Friday. According to the judge, the board review would streamline the infringement case. A pause would not harm Moderna’s financial position or its ability to present evidence in court.

There is a case in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, namely ModernaTX Inc v. Pfizer Inc, 1:22-cv-11378.

In the case of Moderna, William Lee, Emily Whelan, Kevin Prussia, Andrew Danford, and Amy Wigmore of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr were involved


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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