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The US National Institutes of Health is doubling down on its right to be credited on some of Moderna’s key COVID-19 vaccine patents, According For Reuters, setting the stage for a legal battle with the biotech firm could determine the shot’s future price and availability.

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A year-long controversy over who invented key parts of Moderna’s Kovid-19 vaccine, first informed of From new York Times Tensions are brewing between the biotech firm and the NIH on Tuesday.

Despite years of close collaboration, Moderna kept government-funded scientists out of major patent applications covering the shot, insisting its own scientists developed key ingredients of the vaccine.

NIH director Dr. Francis Collins told Reuters on Wednesday that US-funded scientists have played a role in developing Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine and deserve to be recognized for their work, adding that the agency needs But is ready to defend its claim.

Collins indicated the matter could go to court, telling Reuters that it is clear the dispute is something “legal authorities will have to figure out” as both sides have been unable to resolve the conflict amicably.

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