Wednesday, January 27

New assault rifle: The ministry has long been aware of the dispute over patent law

View of the Merkel branch in Suhl, to which the CG Haenel weapons company belongs
Photo: Daniel Pilar

In a report to the members of the Bundestag, the Ministry of Defense admits that it knew early on of patent problems with Haenel’s assault rifle. A commission is now to accompany larger projects.

IIn the dispute over the procurement of a new assault rifle for the Bundeswehr, the Ministry of Defense admitted negligence to the Bundestag for the first time. At the same time, the ministry assured that there was “no evidence of biased decisions”. According to the ministry, after several weeks of examination, other allegations have not been dispelled. An “independent patent attorney” is commissioned to provide an expert opinion. It is to be expected that the at least five existing competitive weapons from the CG Haenel company will be used to clarify whether patent rights have been infringed. The ministry has not ruled this out after an “internal review”.

Peter Carstens

A confidential report of around 100 pages was sent to the MPs, which explains the details of the award for the future standard rifle of the Bundeswehr. In the report, the ministry admitted for the first time that it had known about possible patent infringements for a long time. The report, which is partly public, shows that information on this was available from April 2018. The alleged lack of a legal obligation to follow up on these indications is now delaying the project. In the house of Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) one has come to the opinion that it would have been at least “expedient” to investigate the matter. Now it says: “If there are (…) indications in the ongoing proceedings that patent rights could be affected, this must be investigated by the registry.”

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