U.S. government asks court to let it face patent suit instead of Moderna over COVID-19 vaccine

Arbutus Biopharma and Genevant Sciences sued Moderna in 2022 alleging that the company used patented technologies to create its COVID-19 vaccine.

Updated: February 17, 2023 - 8:07pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The U.S. government has asked a court to allow it to shoulder the burdens of any legal liability in place of pharmaceutical company Moderna as a result of a patent infringement suit connected to the firm's development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Specifically, the government is asking the court to "relieve Moderna of any liability for patent infringement resulting in performance of the ’-0100 contract and to transfer to the United States any liability for the manufacture or use of the inventions claimed in the patents-in-suit resulting from the authorized and consented acts," according to the Epoch Times.

Arbutus Biopharma and Genevant Sciences sued Moderna in 2022 alleging that the company used patented technologies to create its COVID-19 vaccine. The government does not assert that it may have committed the patent infringement, but rather that it should bear the legal responsibility of any alleged act of such that Moderna may have committed in the process of the vaccine's development.

A court previously rejected Moderna's move for dismissal on the grounds that the Court of Federal Claims should handle the case as federal law mandates in cases related to inventions for the government or with its authorization. The court had determined that there was insufficient material to determine that the development of the vaccine occurred for the government or with its authorization, the Times noted.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.