UNITED STATES: The United States administration should face a patent lawsuit regarding COVID-19 vaccines, no vaccine manufacturer Moderna Inc. (MRNA.O), the Department of Justice told a Delaware federal court on Tuesday.
Moderna bags the US’ support
In a court filing, the Justice Department said that the United States should be held accountable for any patent infringement by Arbutus Biopharma Corp. (ABUS.O) and Genevant Sciences GmbH that occurred as a result of Moderna’s agreement to supply shots for the government’s extensive nationwide vaccination programme.
Last year, the pharmaceutical company made the identical argument in an unsuccessful effort to win an early dismissal of the lawsuit.
Regarding the filing, Genevant opted not to comment. Requests for responses on Wednesday went unanswered right away from Moderna, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Last year, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna was sued by Warminster Township, Pennsylvania-based Arbutus and Genevant—a joint venture between Arbutus and Roivant Sciences Ltd. (ROIV.O)—for royalties on its multibillion-dollar COVID vaccines.
Regarding their COVID vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) have both been the subject of many patent lawsuits, including one that the pharmaceutical filed in August against Pfizer.
In May, the company asked the Delaware court to dismiss Genevant and Arbutus’s case, claiming that it could only be brought against the government in the US Court of Federal Claims. It referred to a law that was previously applied to prevent patent disputes from obstructing the supply of military materials during World War I.
But in November, US District Judge Mitchell Goldberg stated that Moderna had not yet demonstrated that the vaccines were created for the government or with its legal authorization and agreement and that it might have instead been an “incidental beneficiary” of the shots.
In response, the Department of Justice stated on Tuesday that the pharmaceutical company should not be held accountable due to its contract with the government to deliver the vaccines as part of Operation Warp Speed.
It stated that the only thing for which the government is liable is Moderna’s purported infringement conduct that took place while it was a party to a US contract.
The case is Arbutus Biopharma Corp. v. Moderna Inc., No. 1:22-cv-00252, before the United States District Court for the District of Delaware.
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