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HIGH TECHNOLOGY

Compiled by Dean Takahashi; Times Staff Writer

Patent Analysis: The Microprocessor Report, a computer trade journal based in Sebastopol, Calif., has released its analysis of the “computer on a chip” patent awarded to La Palma inventor Gilbert P. Hyatt in July.

The analysis, written by technical consultant Richard Belgard, suggests that Hyatt’s version of the microprocessor, or brain of a computer, conceivably could have been built based on the instructions filed by Hyatt 20 years ago.

The report said Hyatt’s patent apparently covers many microcontrollers, which are used to control a specific process, and some reduced instruction-set computing, or RISC, microprocessors as well.

The patent could also cover a standard personal computer, an unalterable computer memory storing program instructions known as BIOS ROM, an alterable computer memory storing computer data known as System DRAM, and a device that interrupts a normal flow of a computer program known as an interrupt controller, Belgard wrote. Belgard said the patent probably does not cover complex instruction-set computing, or CISC, microprocessors by themselves, though it does cover the personal computer systems that include the microprocessors.

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The report stated that the analysis is based on assumptions that the patent is valid and that it will hold up under potential challenges in court.

“I think the report was supportive, but a little conservative,” Hyatt said. “We believe the claims are broader. But other than the patent office documents, this is the most in-depth analysis yet on the patent.”


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