Germany Sends Leopard Tanks To Ukraine, Meanwhile The Two Companies Who Built It Are Having A Legal Argument As To Who Owns The Tank

The Leopard 2 main battle tanks have begun arriving in Ukraine, and while everybody is waiting to see how they will perform in combat against the Russians, the two companies that built the Leopard 2 are fighting over who owns the tank.

German defense giants Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall will fight a legal battle over claims of sole ownership of the Leopard 2 tank.

The Chairman of Rheinmetall, Armin Papperger, first claimed his company’s rights to the Leopard 2 tank, which angered Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.

While Krauss-Maffei Wegmann initially demanded a statement from Rheinmetall to waive its claims on the Leopard 2, the latter refused to do that, ultimately leading the former to sue for an injunction. The two companies will see each other at the Munich District Court on May 2.

It all started with an interview that the head of Rheinmetall, Armin Papperger, gave to Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), a Swiss, German-language daily newspaper, in mid-March. “Rheinmetall owns the rights to the Leopard 2A4,” Papperger said in the interview.

After that, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann is said to have demanded a “cease-and-desist declaration” from Rheinmetall, according to NZZ, and when Rheinmetall refused to issue such a declaration, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann filed for an injunction.

Simultaneous Partnership And Rivalry 

A spokesperson for the Munich District Court announced on April 24 that Krauss-Maffei Wegmann objected to the statements made by Rheinmetall boss Papperger in the NZZ interview as “untrue, misleading factual allegations that violate their rights.”

NZZ notes that the litigation will probably impact more than just Rheinmetall’s claims over the rights to the Leopard 2.