Who Invented Microprocessors?

The government says Gilbert Hyatt did -- and jolts an industry

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office registration number is tough to remember -- 4,942,516 -- and the holder of the patent, a Los Angeles inventor named Gilbert Hyatt, is a virtual unknown. But Hyatt, 52, has suddenly carved a memorable niche for himself in the multibillion-dollar semiconductor industry. Last week, after a 20-year battle with the patent office, the tenacious engineer announced that he had finally received a certificate of intellectual ownership for a single-chip microprocessor that he says he invented in 1968. The announcement sent shock waves throughout the computer industry, which could be forced to pay Hyatt millions of...

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