Moderna said it wouldn't enforce patents related to its experimental COVID-19 vaccine mRNA-1273 while the pandemic continues and is willing to license the patents to others after the pandemic, reported The Wall Street Journal.
The company has at least seven US patents related to its vaccine, including one for the invention of a vaccine using a gene-based technology to protect against a family of coronaviruses.
"We're quite studiously not asserting infringement," commented company president Stephen Hoge, adding "we're not interested in using that IP to decrease the number of vaccines available in a pandemic."
He explained that Moderna decided to publicly commit to not enforcing its patent rights during the pandemic because the company had been getting questions from investors about its patents.
According to the news source, Moderna has taken out a group of patents to cover its mRNA-based drugs and vaccines. In 2017, the company licensed rights to patents, held by Cellscript and mRNA RiboTherapeutics, that are based on mRNA research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has said it is seeking patent protection for its work related to spike-protein technology, to preserve the US government's rights and to provide an incentive for commercial partners to develop vaccines and make them available to the public.