C.G. Haenel excluded from further tender procedure

We are very disappointed with the decision of the BAAINBw to exclude C.G. Haenel from the tender procedure and to award the contract to H&K. Throughout the award process, C.G. Haenel behaved professionally and endeavoured to answer all questions regarding the bid transparently, based on facts and away from the media spotlight. Most recently, we provided comprehensive responses to the allegations made against our company, which were supported by an expert report prepared by one of the leading law firms in Germany. Our responses and the expert opinion leave no doubt that all allegations made against Haenel, including the allegation of patent infringement, are unfounded and that the exclusion of our company from the award procedure on the basis of these allegations is unlawful. We are reviewing the BAAINBw’s decision and will take all necessary legal steps to protect our interests.

Haenel MK 556 - a fully automatic assault rifle
Results of the expert opinion of C.G. Haenel
  • C.G. Haenel has at no time committed any professional misconduct that could cast doubt on the integrity of the company. The expert opinion commissioned by the BMVg lacks expert content that would have been absolutely necessary to prove misconduct.
  • The accusation of patent infringement essentially relates to the so-called over-the-beach capability of the rifle to be procured. In simple terms, this is the ability of the weapon to be immediately operational again even after water penetration. C.G. Hanel has ensured this ability by way of a technical solution that indisputably does not infringe any patents. The patent infringement alleged in the expert opinion relates exclusively to the existence of a technical provision in the MK556 rifle that is independent of it, which not even the competitor itself considers relevant in the sense of the patent and has not made the subject of a warning notice. However, this technical provision taken up in the expert opinion corresponds to the absolute state of the art, which has already been found in various rifles of international manufacturers for decades. A patent infringement is ruled out here.
  • It is further noted that no litigation is currently pending between C.G. Haenel and Heckler & Koch regarding the MK556 rifle offered by C.G. Haenel. The patent proceedings considered by the BMVg’s expert opinion refer either to the CR223 rifle, which has a completely different design with regard to the relevant technical features, or to the decision of the Düsseldorf Regional Court of 20 November 2020. The LG Düsseldorf expressly stated with regard to MK556 that “litigation is not yet pending with regard to the disputed form”. Heckler & Koch has neither initiated patent proceedings on the merits nor preliminary injunction proceedings with regard to the MK556. C.G. Haenel has not even received a warning in this regard.
  • The alleged patent infringement according to the second expert opinion on the spare part “magazine” has no relevance for C.G. Haenel. At no point did the company make the magazine released for review the subject of the offer. It is therefore not apparent to what extent an alleged patent infringement should have an effect.

The expert opinion commissioned by C.G. Haenel clearly comes to the conclusion that there is no patent infringement. A corresponding patent would be null and void in any case. We therefore feel compelled to take legal action against the decision to exclude C.G. Haenel from the further award procedure.