Apple and Liquidmetal Technologies have struck a deal that gives Apple exclusive use of Liquidmetal’s amorphous metal alloys. The deal could lead to Macs, iPhones and iPods that are more durable, and could block competitors from including similar features in their products.
The revelation was included in Liquidmetal’s SEC filing, according to the Baltimore Sun.
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’s materials and coatings include better hardness and strength, better elasticity, better corrosion resistance, and better acoustical properties compared to other metals.
The Mac Pro and iMac, MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPod and iPad all sport metal bodies to some degree. The deal with Liquidmetal offers a strong indicator that Apple isn’t planning on switching back to plastics for its products, and likely has plans to do more with the metals in its lineup soon.