And it sounds like he probably deserves it.
Given all the media attention going on with the whole Dieselgate crisis, you'd be forgiven for thinking that it was only lawsuits relating to the emissions scandal that would be on Volkswagen's plate right now. Such a scenario would be far too simple and boring, however, so - as the German newspaper Der Spiegel reports - it appears that Volkswagen is also involved in another lawsuit that could prove to have major ramifications for the auto-making giant.
According to Der Spiegel, the patent lawsuit as filed in a court in Munich marks the culmination of a dispute between Volkswagen and former board executive Wolfgang Schreiber over what is classified as a "reasonable" remuneration for VW's use of the DSG dual-clutch transmission. What implicates Schreiber in this is that he's regarded as the mastermind behind this particular gearbox arrangement (he's even explicitly listed in some of the patents as the DSG's inventor). As such, Schreiber feels he's worthy of royalty payments for the technology he developed, with the compensation apparently coming in the form of one huge lump sum of money.
And we do genuinely mean a "huge lump sum of money." The Munich court documents indicate that Schreiber has already turned down an offer of $22 million, and will only accept what he believes to be "adequate" compensation. As a result, Der Speigel's suggestion that Schreiber's desired payout sum could soar to the hundreds of millions could very well be correct. To be fair, Schreiber does have a case for remuneration: he's no longer employed by Volkswagen, and the technology he first developed in the late 1990s is still being fitted to many millions of new cars every year, ranging from small urban runabouts to the world's fastest road cars. It'll be interesting to see just what the settlement sum ends up being.