The British multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK:US) recently took legal action against Pfizer (PFE:US) and BioNTech (BNTX:US) in a Delaware federal court, alleging infringement of GSK patents concerning messenger RNA (mRNA) technology utilized in their widely used COVID-19 vaccines.

According to GSK's lawsuit, Pfizer and BioNTech's Comirnaty vaccines are said to infringe upon GSK's patent rights in mRNA-vaccine innovations that were developed "more than a decade before" the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

GSK petitioned the court for unspecified monetary damages from Pfizer and BioNTech, which would include an ongoing patent licensing fee.

A spokesperson for GSK stated that the company believes its patents laid the groundwork for the technology utilized in Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. GSK has expressed its willingness to license these patents on commercially reasonable terms to ensure continued access to the vaccines for patients.

Pfizer, in response, expressed confidence in its intellectual property position regarding Comirnaty and has affirmed its intention to vigorously defend against GSK's claims. BioNTech, however, has declined to comment on the matter.

Notably, Pfizer reported $11.2 billion in revenue from sales of Comirnaty last year, while Moderna generated $6.7 billion from its Spikevax vaccine. Sales of both vaccines experienced significant declines last year compared to 2022.

It's worth mentioning that GSK previously sued Pfizer for patent infringement regarding the technology used in Pfizer's respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine, Abrysvo, last year. Pfizer has refuted GSK's claims in that particular case.

On the congressional trading front, several lawmakers were seen increasing their holdings in all of these healthcare firms, including Rep. Ro Khanna, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, and Sen. Tommy Tubervile.