“A recently published Apple patent spotted by AppleInsider shows that the Cupertino-based company is continuing to explore the use of an incredibly strong alloy known as Liquidmetal,” Nathanael Arnold reports for Wall St. Cheat Sheet. “In a patent titled, ‘Counter-gravity casting of hollow shapes,’ Apple describes a new method for casting a ‘bulk metallic glasses’ material — also known as Liquidmetal — into hollow parts by using a counter-gravity molding technique.”

“Despite holding the exclusive rights to use this material for consumer electronics products since 2010, Apple has so far only used Liquidmetal to make a SIM card eject tool for the iPhone. Apple’s limited use of Liquidmetal may be related to the difficulties associated with mass producing this material,” Arnold reports. “However, the recent publication of a Liquidmetal-related patent by Apple has reignited speculation that the long-rumored iWatch may be made from this material.”

Arnold reports, “Since Apple has acquired exclusive rights to use Liquidmetal for consumer electronics products, the use of this material for the iWatch would also give Apple an important competitive edge over other wearable tech device makers that will not be able to use this unique material.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: The Apple-Liquidmetal deal is basically this: Apple contributes engineers and R&D – basically figuring out how to practically make Liquidmetal into commercial parts – and contributes their inventions back to Liquidmetal (via Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC, a Liquidmetal subsidiary) which gets to use Apple’s inventions in fields other than consumer electronics (sporting goods, aviation, medical, military, etc.). With an already-paid one-time license fee of US$20 million, Apple owns sole rights to use Liquidmetal in electronics forever via “a perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercialize such intellectual property in the field of consumer electronic products.” Every time we hear of Apple and Liquidmetal extending their agreement, it refers to Apple and Liquidmetal lengthening the amount of time where both companies share IP with each other via Crucible.

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