According to a filing with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), Apple has renewed its exclusive rights to use Liquidmetal Technologies’ alloys in its consumer products through at least February of next year.
Apple originally purchased the rights back in 2010, and the agreement was set to expire in February. The company has thus far only used the alloys in smaller applications, but it’s believed to have bigger plans for the tech…
From the SEC filing:
On May 19, 2014, Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc. (the “Company”) and Apple Inc. (“Apple”) entered into an second amendment (the “Second Amendment”) to the Master Transaction Agreement that was originally entered into on August 5, 2010 (the “MTA”) and amended on June 15, 2012 (the “First Amendment”). Under the MTA and the First Amendment, the Company was obligated to contribute to Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC, a special purpose subsidiary of the Company, all intellectual property acquired or developed by the Company from August 5, 2010 through February 5, 2014, and all intellectual property held by Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC was exclusively licensed on a perpetual basis to Apple for the field of use of consumer electronic products under the MTA. Under the Second Amendment, the parties agreed to amend the MTA and the First Amendment to extend the February 5, 2014 date to February 5, 2015.
Liquidmetal offers up various unique properties, in that it’s very strong, relatively lightweight, and able to cast in a multitude of forms. If Apple were to use it for a significant component, it would be nearly impossible to duplicate.
Unfortunately, the tech is still very young— experts think it’ll be 3-5 years before it can be used in large scale. But Apple has several Liquidmetal patents, and continues to renew its deal, so it obviously knows something we don’t.