Moderna said Friday that it is suing Pfizer and BioNTech, alleging that the two companies copied Moderna’s technology to make its COVID vaccine Comirnaty.
“We believe that Pfizer and BioNTech unlawfully copied Moderna’s inventions, and they have continued to use them without permission,” Moderna Chief Legal Officer Shannon Thyme Klinger said in a statement.
The patent infringement lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the Regional Court of Düsseldorf in Germany, according to a news release.
Moderna said it filed patents from 2010 to 2016 for its mRNA technology, which was critical in the company’s creation of its own COVID vaccine. The company alleges that Pfizer and BioNTech then copied that same technology for Comirnaty.
“We are filing these lawsuits to protect the innovative mRNA technology platform that we pioneered, invested billions of dollars in creating, and patented during the decade preceding the COVID-19 pandemic,” the company’s CEO, Stéphane Bancel, said.
“This foundational platform, which we began building in 2010, along with our patented work on coronaviruses in 2015 and 2016, enabled us to produce a safe and highly effective COVID-19 vaccine in record time after the pandemic struck.”
Bancel said the company is continuing to use the technology to develop treatments for influenza and HIV, as well as autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases and rare forms of cancer.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com.