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Since the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is patented, one could assume that patent and the used mRNA-string are published somewhere.

If that is the case, where can one find it?

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  • How do you know the vaccine is patented versus the technology behind the vaccine? – Eric S Jan 17 at 16:03
  • @EricS I'm not sure whether it is the vaccine or the technology is patent protected. The media just reports something about the vaccine being patent protected. I find it hard to find reliable resources on the more detailled status of the Pfizer patent. – markhollis Jan 17 at 16:13
  • Not an answer since it relates to Moderna but their website modernatx.com/patents says -mRNA-1273 COVID-19 VACCINE US 10,703,789 US 10,702,600 US 10,577,403 US 10,442,756 US 10,266,485 US 10,064,959 US 9,868,692 – George White Jan 17 at 17:21
  • Media coverage on patent topics is mostly very bad. They just report about how they heard patents would be impeding copying of the vaccine (which is probably correct), without understanding the mechanism (the thread of a patent being published and granted in the future and things like utility models that can be optained fast can be enough to deter competitors, especially if big investments are needed to start production) – DonQuiKong Jan 17 at 21:41
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Patent applications typically publish 18 months after filing. Since vaccine's specific to COVID-19 were started within the last year, it is likely that a patent application hasn't yet published. Reports of patent protection are probably related the the underlying mRNA technologies developed by BioNTech.

However, you can search the patent literature for items related. For instance on Google Patents (as one example) I've searched with "BioNTech RNA Pharmaceuticals GmbH" as the assignee and mrna and vaccine as keywords returning about 269 results. Here are the results. I used "mrna" since messenger RNA is the underlying technology for the vaccine and "vaccine" since I wanted more relevant hits. This is likely not a complete list of relevant patents and applications since it is possible Pfizer or BioNTech have licensed other intellectual properties.

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Regarding patents on the technology behind the vaccines, I found this on PatentlyO

The components of the new mRNA vaccines of Pfizer, Moderna, CureVac and others are heavily patented. There are 2 main estates: 1. the modified mRNA estate held by UPenn; 2. the lipid nanoparticle components held by Arbutus, Moderna, Acuitas and others. Most patents have been licensed where appropriate, there is one major (public) dispute (see Arbutus/Moderna).

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