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News blog8 September 2022European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency1 min read

Pulp Fiction dispute for NFTs – Moderna sues Pfizer and BioNTech


Some months ago, we delved into Quentin Tarantino and film producer Miramax case. In a nutshell, Miramax studios sued Tarantino for auctioning Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) of “Pulp Fiction”. The auction was released for 7 digital copies of his handwritten screenplay of the movie, which included unedited movie scenes and comments from the director. 

Miramax studios, as the owner of the intellectual property rights, sued Tarantino before the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleging trade mark and copyright infringement. 

From its side, Tarantino replied recently to the lawsuit, requesting the Court to toss Miramax’s claims, on the grounds that the NFTs did not contain any excerpt from the film, just the handwritten scripts of “Pulp Fiction” and comments written by him. Moreover, Tarantino argued that he retained the copyright over the screenplay, thus he did not have need to ask for authorisation to Miramax, to which were assigned distribution rights over the film. 



The biotechnology company Moderna, has been in the spotlight recently, for filing patent infringement lawsuits against Pfizer and BioNTech in the U.S. and in Germany. Pfizer and BioNTech allegedly applied to the Covid-19 vaccine the mRNA technology that was previously developed by Moderna. 

The claims concerned two types of infringement.

The first claim argued that Pfizer’s vaccine had the same mRNA structure than the one developed by Moderna some years before, in the sense that it "avoids provoking an undesirable immune response".

The second claim held that Pfizer and BioNTech copied Moderna's approach to encode the full-length spike protein. 

For these reasons, Moderna is now seeking financial damages - i.e., a share of Pfizer’s revenues over the vaccine-, and if the Court considers that the intellectual property was infringed, to force them to ask for a licence.

Allegedly, Moderna will not seek to ban its competitors’ vaccines from the market, nor preventing them from selling future vaccines, as they want to guarantee the access to the vaccine, particularly for low- and middle-income countries.

From its side, Moderna is facing patent infringement claims from other pharmaceutical companies that claimed to have developed previously the mRNA technology. 

We will keep you posted on developments!


Publication date
8 September 2022
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency