From the reaction from people who actually were at the presentation, MIAOW hasnt been designed to steer clear of patents. Right now a non issue, but should it take root the big stick will come along and make its stamp... Really, not the best base for a patent free open source GPU.
It's also missing some gfx functions, texture-mapping, and has a single processing pipeline, when you start enabling more pipes you run into all sorts of caching and corruption issues you never spotted, so its not just a case of altering some parameters and resynthesising. Great start for a uni project, but there are better options out there already not gaining the publicity.
If your interested in the subject of diy gpu processors and fpga, check out Jeff Bush's amazing write up of his open gpu on fpga. You need something with a fair number of logic elements to load his design on so something like a de0 nano or similar but you can check out the code/verilog etc from github right now, and his blog is amazingly insightful to read.
I'm also interested in cpu on fpga, but its a massive massive rabbithole of learning to fall down into. There is the venerable tg68 implementation of the 68000, fpga arcade, vampire v1 and a few other interesting ones released under open source licenses you can download the sources to and check out, plus there are further closed projects in this space. The above is focused on m68k because its a chipset I knew well back in the day, so I can relate past experience to bootstrap learning for the bits I don't understand. But there are z80/6502, even machester computer on fpga...
The chinese are getting in on the area with their own fpga designs and fab, gowin semiconductor has released two designs in the past two years to compete with altera and xlinx etc. Lattice is another with interesting developments and now there is a open source toolchain (icestorm) covering the lattice icesticks to lower the difficulty bar to getting started.
Its like that guy on here that built his own diy wirewrapped discreet gated computer that took up half his house (I think he is my hero after that elreg article...) , except you can pop the dev board and usb blaster in the desk drawer between sessions without visitors spotting your a raving loon until you start to babble about von neuman architecture and the like. And its great fun giving the brain a bit of a workout compared to the level of thinking required for real work.