One thing that can make reporting about civil litigation frustrating is that so much of it ends in confidential settlements. Occasionally, though, a ray of light pierces the shroud of secrecy, and it's possible to find out how much money changed hands when a case settles before going to trial. Thanks to an unlikely source—an Iowa ear, nose, and throat doctor currently residing in a federal prison in Wisconsin after being convicted of insurance fraud—we now know how much patent-holding company SP Technologies collected as a result of filing suit against four leading tech companies: $2.17 million.
That information is contained in a motion to intervene filed in July by otolaryngologist Peter Boesen in connection with a pending suit brought by SPT against GPS makers Garmin and TomTom in the Northern District of Illinois. In addition to being a convicted felon, Boesen happens to be the inventor on the patent SPT has asserted in the suit—and in previous suits against Apple, Magellan, and Samsung—as well as a second patent asserted in a suit against LG Electronics.