What the Moderna–NIH COVID vaccine patent fight means for research


Publish Date:
November 30, 2021
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Moderna has said that it offered the NIH co-ownership of the patent in September, and that the agency could then license the patent “as they see fit”. But this is different from inventor status: terms of co-ownership would need to be negotiated, and could come with strings attached, says Morten. The NIH might also want its scientists on the patent for scientific credit or political reasons, says Lisa Ouellette, who specializes in vaccine production and patent law at Stanford Law School in California.

The potential impact of the case on vaccine production is uncertain. Moderna has already said that it would not enforce its patents on its COVID vaccine during the pandemic, and patents are generally not the key hurdle to vaccine production, says Ouellette.

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