Sounds like your friend got a good deal on it... the last time I looked into getting a patent it was 12 grand. If I could have done it for just two grand I probably would have and then taken my idea to market... I'm sure it would have made about $20 million in sales per year.
A friend of mine secured patent on a cigar humidor and it cost him over two grand!
But of course, if we can learn anything from the history of beekeeping, it's that simply having a patent in no way ensures that the patent would be enforced and that trying to enforce the patent could bankrupt any of us. Just look at Langstroth's financial life. He went bankrupt doing just that and died pennyless despite a good design and patent.
If you can read this, you've got better eyesight than I do.