German court suspends mRNA patent trial against BioNTech

DUESSELDORF (Reuters) – A German court on Thursday suspended a patent trial against BioNTech over the use of mRNA technology in the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the German company together with its U.S. partner Pfizer.

The Duesseldorf regional court said it needed further clarification and suspended the case, brought by BioNTech competitor CureVac, pending decisions by the German and the European patent offices on a legal challenge filed by BioNTech.

A separate patent infringement case brought by CureVac was previously suspended by the Duesseldorf court because a higher court first needs to review that patent’s validity. A decision is expected in December.

(This story has been corrected to say court will await decisions by German and European patent offices, not by federal patent court in paragraph 2. It also corrects to refer to a separate case in paragraph 3)

(Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff, Writing by Rachel More, Editing by Friederike Heine)