The Facts

  • On Fri., Moderna said it's suing Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech for allegedly copying the technology used for the first approved COVID vaccine, which they claim to have developed years before the pandemic.

  • The decade-old Cambridge, Mass.-based company filed the suit in both the US District Court in Mass. and Regional Court in Dusseldorf, Germany, seeking undetermined monetary damages from the period after March 8, 2022, when it started to enforce its patent after halting it during COVID.

The Spin

Narrative A

Moderna publicly stated that other companies were allowed to use its technology during the pandemic, and only after Pfizer made billions more in profits is the company suing for damages. This is a surprising lawsuit, as Moderna could have easily enforced its patents from the beginning.

Narrative B

As the rightful owner of this mRNA technology, Moderna kindly allowed its invention to be used by other companies during the worst parts of the pandemic. However, once developing countries no longer faced issues with obtaining the vaccine, Moderna expected Pfizer to respect its patent and it has failed to do so.

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