Apple's next iPhone won't be until late 2016, but should come with a new design.
Apple and Liquidmetal Technologies Extend Intellectual Property Agreement Until 2014
The agreement, which is funneled through a subsidiary known as Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC, provides Apple with a full license to all of Liquidmetal's intellectual property for commercialization in consumer electronics. The original deal required that Liquidmetal submit all of its intellectual property discoveries to the subsidiary through February 5, 2012, but the new amendment effective as of last Friday extends the agreement through February 5, 2014.
Under the MTA [Master Transaction Agreement], the Company was originally obligated to contribute to Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC, a special purpose subsidiary of the Company, all intellectual property acquired or developed by the Company through February 5, 2012, and all intellectual property held by Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC is exclusively licensed on a perpetual basis to Apple for the field of use of consumer electronic products under the MTA. Under the Amendment, the parties agreed to amend the MTA to extend the February 5, 2012 date to February 5, 2014.
The foregoing does not purport to be a complete description of the Amendment and is qualified by reference to the full text of such agreement, which will be filed with the Company’s next Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.
Apple acquired the rights to Liquidmetal's amorphous metal alloys in August 2010 after having tested the material in the iPhone 3G SIM eject tool. But broader use of Liquidmetal's alloys, which offer improvements in strength and durability over current alloys while proving easy to cast into complex shapes, is likely several years off.