one thing that cought my eye was:
The gather loop construct collects information, usually color, from surfaces via raytracing. It is somewhat analogous to Illuminance loops, wich collect direct light from light sources. Rays are cast within the cone specified by P, dir and angle.
sounds a bit like finalgathering doesnt it? maybe mental images should sue :P it would be REALLY ironic if pixar sued mental images for infringing on "their" gathering technology. i honestly wouldnt put this kind of behavior above Steve Jobbs.