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In Law360, Matt Rizzolo Discusses Implications in COVID-19 Vaccine IP Government Contract Case

Practices: Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property Litigation, Patent Strategy, Patent Litigation, Litigation

In a Law360 article, IP litigation partner Matt Rizzolo discussed the implications of positions taken by the U.S. government in a patent infringement lawsuit case, Arbutus Biopharma Corp. et al. v. Moderna Inc. et al., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

The U.S. government has urged a Delaware federal judge to dismiss certain patent infringement claims brought against Moderna relating to its COVID-19 vaccine, saying that because the vaccine was purchased by the government under a particular contract, the Moderna is immunized from claims of patent infringement, and these claims must be brought against the government. The federal government said that in this contract, it granted Moderna its "authorization and consent" to manufacture and use inventions covered by U.S. patents.

Matt notes that if the government’s arguments are accepted by the court, the federal government may, under the current or a future administration, seek to leverage the same reasoning to increase the availability of generic pharmaceuticals and/or reduce the prices of branded pharmaceuticals.

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