BioNTech 22UAy.DE has filed a motion to have a German patent held by competitor CureVac 5CV.DE declared invalid in response to a patent lawsuit filed by CureVac last year, a statement from the German Patent Court said on Wednesday.
The case concerns a European patent granted to CureVac in 2010 for mRNA technology used in vaccines, the court said.
BioNTech argues that the patent should not have been granted because the subject matter underlying the patent is not new, or at least not based on an inventive step, the court said, adding that CureVac rejects that argument.
BioNTech confirmed it had filed the motion but declined to comment further. Curevac did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
The court also said that it can only declare a European patent invalid with effect for Germany and that no date has yet been set to consider the matter.
CureVac filed its patent lawsuit in Germany last July over BioNTech's use of mRNA technology, saying it was seeking "fair compensation" from BioNTech and two subsidiaries for infringement of its intellectual property rights.
BioNTech responded at the time that its work was original.
"We will vigorously defend it against all allegations of patent infringement," the German company had said in a statement.
(Reporting by Miranda Murray Editing by Rachel More and David Goodman )
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Editor: IPR Daily-Ann