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Apple renews exclusive rights to Liquidmetal in consumer products into 2015

post #1 of 34
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According to an SEC document filed on Wednesday, Apple and Liquidmetal have entered a deal to extend an exclusive license to use the exotic metal in consumer products through Feb. 2015, marking the second time the companies decided to prolong their mutual agreement.

SIM ejector
iPhone 3G SIM card ejector tool. Photo via Flickr user Jamie McCall.


The Securities and Exchange Commission filing notes the companies entered into a second amendment to the original exclusive rights deal first signed in August 2010, which was itself extended in 2012 under a first amendment.

Until now, Apple's most public use of Liquidmetal -- the commercial name for a special bulk amorphous alloy -- has been limited to a SIM card ejector tool, though it is feasible that the material may already be in use in small unseen internal device parts.

In 2012, the inventor of Liquidmetal, Dr. Atakan Peker, said Apple was two to four years away from mass producing the alloy for large scale projects like chassis parts for an iPhone or iPad. At the time, Peker said there is "no suitable manufacturing infrastructure yet to take full advantage of this alloy technology."

Liquidmetal is classified as an amorphous, non-crystalline material and is some 2.5 times stronger than titanium alloy commonly used in consumer products. The alloy is also 1.5 times harder than stainless steel found in portable electronic devices. Before Apple's exclusive license, Liquidmetal was first hit consumer products in 2003 in medical equipment, sporting goods and special applications by the U.S. Department of Defense.

The new agreement gives Apple another year of exclusivity before patent rights revert back to Crucible Intellectual Property, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liquidmetal Technologies.
post #2 of 34
Great, so what does this mean for LQMT tomorrow morning? To the moon!!!!
post #3 of 34

Besides a tiny SIM tray, Apple hasn't really made much use of Liquidmetal yet.

 

They obviously have bigger plans for it, or they wouldn't have extended the agreement.

post #4 of 34
Omega made a watch using liquid metal, although it was a limited edition so maybe they don't make them any more.

http://www.omegawatches.com/planet-omega/watchmaking/liquidmetal
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post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

Omega made a watch using liquid metal, although it was a limited edition so maybe they don't make them any more.

http://www.omegawatches.com/planet-omega/watchmaking/liquidmetal

They don't make them anymore. Not many were ever made.

 

I see some going on ebay for around 7-8 K USD.

post #6 of 34
I can't wait for my next liquid metal SIM card ejector tool! /s

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post #7 of 34

Looking forward to a fully Liquidmetal electric car.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #8 of 34
Seems odd to only renew for 1 year if this is for iWatch. I don't get it.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Seems odd to only renew for 1 year if this is for iWatch. I don't get it.

 

That might be a restriction set by the licensing company, not Apple.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #10 of 34
I remember all of the people who authoritatively stated that the good doctor, who after all, invented this, didn't know what he was talking about because he said it was a few years away. Well, here we are, part way through those few years, and as far as we know, nothing yet.
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Seems odd to only renew for 1 year if this is for iWatch. I don't get it.

Apple has an exclusive license forever for use of liquid metal in electronic devices. These extensions are a separate agreement for apple and liquid metal to form a joint company to develop manufacturing processes to make parts.  Once the tech to manufacture parts in liquid metal is developed and paid for by apple the manufacturing goes back to liquid metal. But Apple keeps the rights forever for use in the electronic devices. 

Its the same deal there doing with GTE and sapphire.  Apple is paying for the development and processes of making parts in sapphire with GTE and in return they get first dibs at using sapphire.  GTE who could not afford to develop manufacturing gets the plants and mass production tools they need.  They then pay apple back for the investment.  Same thing with liquid metal.  Apple gets permanent use rights in electronic devices and liquid metal gets the manufacturing plants and tools for use for everything else basically for free.


Edited by Mechanic - 5/21/14 at 6:31pm
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Seems odd to only renew for 1 year if this is for iWatch. I don't get it.

The agreement is not the window of time in which they can use lqmt, but rather the window of time in which all patents and discoveries by Apple and lqmt themselves are mutually usable. For example, in February of this year, right after the timeframe for the last agreement expired lqmt came out with a new formula that didn't use beryllium, a very toxic substance. Now that the agreement's been extended Apple can have full access to that new recipe, my understanding is, forever. Additionally they already have a forever exclusivity agreement on lqmt in consumer electronics.
post #13 of 34

Maybe by then Apple will create a product that uses it. :no:

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post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

Maybe by then Apple will create a product that uses it. :no:

Would be nice to see something other than a sim ejector tool lol!

post #15 of 34
So it's only for 1 more year? Seems to me like something else is being developed but needs more time before Apple can move onto it. They've done it with GorillaGlass and even Foxconn! They have no loyalty unless they don't have a better idea.
post #16 of 34

It could be argued that technically a sim ejector tool is not itself an "electronic" device.

post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

Apple has an exclusive license forever for use of liquid metal in electronic devices. These extensions are a separate agreement for apple and liquid metal to form a joint company to develop manufacturing processes to make parts.  Once the tech to manufacture parts in liquid metal is developed and paid for by apple the manufacturing goes back to liquid metal. But Apple keeps the rights forever for use in the electronic devices. 
Its the same deal there doing with GTE and sapphire.  Apple is paying for the development and processes of making parts in sapphire with GTE and in return they get first dibs at using sapphire.  GTE who could not afford to develop manufacturing gets the plants and mass production tools they need.  They then pay apple back for the investment.  Same thing with liquid metal.  Apple gets permanent use rights in electronic devices and liquid metal gets the manufacturing plants and tools for use for everything else basically for free.

I invested in GTAT, looking forward to that taking off.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #18 of 34
I wondered years back would the iPhone 6 be rather then aluminum/plastic/glass(or this point sapphire) case it could be liquid metal, still seems possible?
post #19 of 34
It never seems to age, here is the ejector tool I've used since 2008 on thousands of iPads and iPhones, it's a bit scratched and bent with no sign of any corrosion.

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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #20 of 34

Real innovation in hardware and software research takes time particularity if you want to be ahead of the competition and make a profit from it, the hot air companies like Google, Netflix, and Amazon are running on vaporware and Wall Street continues to lap it up.

 

Long AAPL, ARMH, GTAT, and LQMT.

post #21 of 34
I still have mine from 2009
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

Besides a tiny SIM tray, Apple hasn't really made much use of Liquidmetal yet.

 

They obviously have bigger plans for it, or they wouldn't have extended the agreement.

That isn't necessarily the case.

Apple could simply prevent others from using it.

post #23 of 34

It seems like a real shame to me. A potentially valuable new metal, 2.5x stronger than titanium and 1.5x stronger than stainless steel, and Apple buys exclusive rights and then just sits on it and does nothing. How much better off would humanity be if lots of people could experiment with it and try to come up with creative uses?

post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
 

 

That might be a restriction set by the licensing company, not Apple.


And a good idea...why license rights for many years and be left with the company doing nothing with it.  My thought is Apple does have plans for it because to have the rights just for a SIM ejector tool is silly.

post #25 of 34
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
How much better off would humanity be if lots of people could experiment with it and try to come up with creative uses?

 

Why are you pretending they can’t still do that?

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post #26 of 34

Many of the posts here assume that Apple and LM are just sitting around.  In fact, the little public information that I have seen has shown that they have worked on many improvements, most of which are needed for any commercial use of LM, in composition and manufacture of parts from LM.  LM just settled a lawsuit with a casting company (VPC) and amended their agreement with them that frees LM from using them as their only contract manufacturer – does this have anything to do with Apple, I don't know.  As mentioned above, LM came out with a new formula that doesn't use Beryllium, a toxic element, in their amorphous metal – sounds important if you want to work with green Apple (remember they got MacPros yanked from Europe over toxic metals).  Apple and LM also filed patents a while back on improved methods for making sheets of LM – will this lead to some use for Apple, I don't know.  Bottom line, there has been much research and development going on and it is clear that LM has not been ready for wide-scale use in Apple or any other products.  I think now they are ready and the fruits of their labors will soon become evident.

post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

It never seems to age, here is the ejector tool I've used since 2008 on thousands of iPads and iPhones, it's a bit scratched and bent with no sign of any corrosion.


I have many paper clips that show no sign of corrosion after many years. Like, every one I've ever handled.
post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by larrdavid815 View Post

Great, so what does this mean for LQMT tomorrow morning? To the moon!!!!

Just the opposite.  LQMT is about to be delisted from NASDAQ. ($0.2 last quote)

post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Why are you pretending they can’t still do that?

I'm not pretending, I genuinely believed that is what "exclusive" meant.

post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by dysamoria View Post


I have many paper clips that show no sign of corrosion after many years. Like, every one I've ever handled.

 

Handled the same paperclip on a daily basis for almost six years?

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

Maybe by then Apple will create a product that uses it. :no:

It feels right to make the iPhone shell with it. Maybe there will be an iPhone 6m this year, or next?

post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I can't wait for my next liquid metal SIM card ejector tool! /s

Septembers right around the corner, grasshopper ! Not long to wait.1biggrin.gif
post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

It seems like a real shame to me. A potentially valuable new metal, 2.5x stronger than titanium and 1.5x stronger than stainless steel, and Apple buys exclusive rights and then just sits on it and does nothing. How much better off would humanity be if lots of people could experiment with it and try to come up with creative uses?

Just as all those phone manufacturers were so creative in their development of the smartphone in all those years before 2007…
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post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 
Maybe by then Apple will create a product that uses it. 1oyvey.gif
It feels right to make the iPhone shell with it. Maybe there will be an iPhone 6m this year, or next?

Apple should call this year's iPhone the iPhone 8. Why? Why not? 8 is a better number than 6. And it will throw down the gauntlet to Samsung, who will no doubt be hoping to being out their Samsung iS6 or something as closely worded to the iPhone as possible.
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