International law firm Bird & Bird represents CureVac SE in its lawsuit against BioNTech SE for patent and utility model infringement.
CureVac is the owner of numerous property rights in the field of molecular biology and biotechnology. Among other things, it is the owner of patent and utility model rights that become virulent in the development and production of drugs and vaccines based on the messenger molecule messenger RNA (mRNA) (EP 1 857 122 B1, DE 20 2015 009 961 U1, DE 20 2021 003 575 U1, DE 20 2015 009 974 U1 and EP 3 708 668 B1). A technique based on the messenger molecule mRNA was used, among other things, in the field of the development and production of vaccines in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
BioNTech markets vaccines in Germany under the name “Comirnaty – Tozinameran, COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (nucleoside-modified)”. In CureVac’s view, these vaccines implement the teaching of its patents-in-suit or utility models. It is therefore challenging this infringement by way of a step action with the aim of claiming damages.
The first stage was heard on 15 August 2023 before the 4c. Patent Chamber of the Düsseldorf District Court (file no.: 4c O 38/22, 4c O 46/22, 4c O 47/22, 4c O 48/22 and 4c O 51/22). CureVac demands information and accounting from BioNTech about the extent to which they use or have used modified mRNA in this sense for the production of a vaccine for vaccination against viral infectious diseases, using the technical teaching protected by CureVac.
The chamber has set the date for a decision to be announced on the 28th of December 2023 in view of a hearing before the Federal Patent Court on the invalidity action, which is scheduled for the 19th of December 2023. In the other proceedings, the date for pronouncing a decision was set for the 28th of September 2023.