Liquidmetal Technologies, a Delaware-based firm, has signed a license agreement filed with the SEC that allows Apple to use their technology. According to the company’s website, Liquidmetal’s products offer increased benefits in many physical properties, including strength, hardness, elasticity, and acoustics. Apple has made no announcements regarding the use of Liquidmetal’s products.
However, Liquidmetal’s website also offers information about how their metals can be applied to wireless devices. According to the company’s website, casings made with their metals will be more durable, scratch and corrosion resistant, and non-reactive, something which may resolve the iPhone 4’s antenna issues. Furthermore, the metals can be fashioned into unique and aesthetically pleasing designs while permitting thinner, smaller, and stronger engineering.
While Apple has made no announcements regarding Liquidmetal, it is clear that Jobs believes they may have found something of high value to their products. Liquidmetal’s products use an amorphous atomic structure which is less rigid than structural metals, and the chemical make-up can be altered during manufacturing to suit a client’s needs. This could allow Apple to design notebooks with a unibody structure, meaning fashioned from a single piece of metal. According to Apple, this would allow for a stronger and more durable notebook while reducing the weight. As Apple continues to focus on industrial styles and design with the extensive use of metal in its device casings, a number of opportunities present themselves for Liquidmetal’s technologies to be used in Apple’s products.
Straight from the Form 8K that was filed with the SEC:
On August 5, 2010, Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Liquidmetal”), entered into a Master Transaction Agreement with Apple Inc., a California corporation (“Apple”), pursuant to which (i) Liquidmetal contributed substantially all of its intellectual property assets to a newly organized special-purpose, wholly-owned subsidiary (the “IP Company”), (ii) the IP Company granted to Apple a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercialize such intellectual property in the field of consumer electronic products in exchange for a license fee, and (iii) the IP Company granted back to Liquidmetal a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercialize such intellectual property in all other fields of use (together with all ancillary agreements, the “Master Transaction Agreement”).