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Lynn A. Lehnert and Sara L. Pilson Explore Intellectual Property Suits over COVID-19 Vaccines with Law360


Lynn A. Lehnert and Sara L. Pilson Explore Intellectual Property Suits over COVID-19 Vaccines with Law360

August 09, 2022

Lynn A. Lehnert and Sara L. Pilson in Goldberg Segalla’s Intellectual Property group explored intellectual property suits over COVID-19 vaccines with Law360. Specifically, they delved into the science behind the vaccine development and the moral implications as lawsuits alleging patent infringement take place.  

“Given the millions of lives saved by these vaccines, should plaintiffs refrain from enforcing their intellectual property rights ‘for the greater good’? Should courts give deferential treatment to pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Moderna in light of their enormous contributions to the medical field and world at large? This article examines both the legal and moral implications of such questions,” they posed in the introduction of the article. 

Lynn and Sara also delved deeply into the procedural history of the alleged patent infringement suits, including the most recent declaratory judgment filed by BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH and Pfizer Inc. against Cure Vac AG on July 25, 2022. 

Further, they went on to pose a few questions one should consider when analyzing the complaints such as if the defendant knew of the asserted patents prior to or during development of their respective COVID-19 vaccine, if insights can be pulled from the timeline of the patent prosecution, and, of most interest to the public, what specific relief is being sought by the plaintiffs. 

“No one doubts that the lightning-speed development of these lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines is nothing less than laudable. However, while we can be thankful for the accelerated development of these vaccines, we also should not ignore the building blocks upon which they were based,” they concluded.  


The Role of Morality in IP Suits Over COVID-19 Vaccines,” Law360, August 5, 2022



The Intellectual Property practice group protects the ideas, innovations, inventions, imagery, and creative compositions that propel successful business ventures and create strong brands. 

Led by a highly experienced U.S. patent attorney, our intellectual property team draws from a broad range of Goldberg Segalla’s litigation and transactional practices, resulting in collective experience solving IP problems that involve a vast array of academic disciplines, cutting-edge innovations, and industry sectors. The GS IP team blends its members’ real-world work in scientific and high-tech disciplines with exceptional business acumen and deep experience handling patents, trade secrets, copyrights, trademarks, and other IP matters. The result is a tech-savvy and efficient team dedicated to helping clients develop practical business strategies that maximize the return on their investments and innovations.