US Patent 6912559 (filing and priority dates both July 30th, 1999) is for what appears to be the Newton-Raphson algorithm for 1/x and 1/sqrt(x) as well as four instructions, two initial-estimate instructions and two NR-step instructions.
But didn't such instructions or methods exist way before 1999? The Cray-1 (1975) and Cray X-MP (1982) both did floating-point division using reciprocal estimates, so the concept must not have been unknown at the time.
In 1981, the book "The Architecture of Pipelined Computers" by Peter M. Kogge even mentioned of the Cray-1 in a casually throwaway fashion on p. 171 that
"Most vector instructions have the same format as their scalar equivalents, that is a 16-bit instruction having a 7-bit opcode and specification of three of the vector registers. The operations that may be specified include add, subtract, multiply, reciprocal estimate, logicals, and shifts." (emphasis added)
In 1998 AMD released the AMD K6-2, which implemented the 3DNow! instruction set extensions that contained amongst others a reciprocal/reciprocal square root estimate and step.