I've skimmed some of the patents and .... if you know how open GL works it's basically saying "here's the thing that does what the software tells it to do, how you would expect it to do it"
If I went into details this'd be really long, but it is implemented exactly how I would have thought (there may be neat tricks in the actual circuitry of the thing, but that's not documented)
However I am not sure what that means for the validity of the patents. I mean a CPU was invented, but saying stuff like "Instruction for loading data at address given by address register into register 8" - that's... obvious, sort of - it's hard to phrase. You have to move data into register 8 and it's describing a pointer!
There is no other way this could work... if that makes sense. it's like a drill, imagine you had to make something that drilled but couldn't use a motor,gearbox, and clamp setup. You can vary it a bit (maybe go like screwdrivers do, rather than a clamp a hexagonal "port" at the top...) but it's still a drill.
I can't think of any other way to make a drill! (as in device for drilling)