Filing patents is the only sensible thing. Not only the BioNTech founder knows that. But how expensive is it? And where is the best protection?
UWith wise foresight, gur Sahin secured his research and development work against theft of ideas more than 15 years ago – three years before he founded the Mainz biotechnology company BioNTech in 2008 with his wife Özlem Türeci. In 2005, he submitted an application to the German Patent Office for protection for a procedure in the fight against cancer that was still revolutionary at the time. In the following years more registrations were added as he made progress in development and created new intellectual property. This paved the way for mRNA technology, which – contrary to what was initially planned – has been used in the fight against Covid-19 since December. And global politics are now shaking their patent protection.
The one patent for the first approved vaccine against the corona virus did not exist. Over the years, the Mainz-based biotech company has repeatedly applied for new patents in its development of mRNA, initially as an anti-cancer agent. It can be assumed that there was actually at least one new patent application specifically for the use of the technology developed against the virus in the past year. It is not yet possible to say exactly. Because upon registration there is initially a confidentiality period of 18 months, which is why this application does not appear in any official statistics.