Apple just became the proud owner of Liquidmetal’s IPs, which will allow Apple to integrate this alloy into future products. Here is the SEC filing:
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”).
Liquidmetal isn’t quite as cool as it sounds, but it does allow companies to create high quality, less expensive products. Liquidmetal doesn’t have a set melting point like regular metals, and behaves more like a plastic. (Which melt gradually.) This makes precision manufacturing much easier. It also has a degree of elasticity, “i.e., the ability to retain its original shape (memory) after undergoing very high loads and stress.”
As the demand for product “miniaturization” continues in the electronic casings industry, Liquidmetal® alloys enable smaller, thinner and more durable designs. Current casings technology is pushed to the limit in supporting these new designs and specifications, especially requirements for larger LCD screens, thinner wall sections and pure metallic surface finishes for products such as mobile phones, PDA’s and cameras.
So, basically good news to anyone who plans on buying a new [metal] Apple product in the future. (Assuming Apple uses this tech.)