“Apple Inc. recently extended its agreement with Liquidmetal Technologies to retain the rights to the unique metal alloy that Apple requires for its production processes,” Zacks writes for Yahoo Finance.

“Per the agreement, Liquidmetal contributes its developed or acquired technology to a special purpose subsidiary that exclusively licenses the technology to Apple,” Zacks writes. “The initial agreement was signed on Aug 5, 2010 and later extended on Jun 15, 2012. Another extension was announced on May 17, 2014, which was valid til Feb 5, 2015. Now Liquidmetal has extended the deal til Feb 5, 2016.”

“Liquidmetal is an amorphous and non-crystalline material, with some interesting properties. The metal is almost 2.5 times stronger than titanium and about 1.5 times harder than stainless steel,” Zacks writes. “Media reports suggest that Apple might be silently developing some internal device components from these bulk amorphous alloys as the company already has some valuable production patents in place… Last year, Apple had disclosed that it would be deploying a diverse range of materials for its production processes. However, in the absence of any official announcement, we can only speculate.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Something must be promising for these continued extensions unless Apple’s just trying to throw off competitors, force rivals to spend money on R&D or something.

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.

Apple extends Liquidmetal exclusivity deal through February 2016 – June 23, 2015
Two new Liquidmetal patent filings from Apple revealed; list watch and jewelry among potential uses – April 23, 2015
Liquidmetal’s Apple alliance yet to bear fruit – September 30, 2014
Apple’s new Liquidmetal-related patent sparks speculation – July 7, 2014
Apple patents method for embedding sapphire displays in LiquidMetal device chassis – May 27, 2014
Liquidmetal-Visser agreement paves the way for more rapid adoption of amorphous metal manufacturing – May 21, 2014
Apple extends Liquidmetal exclusivity deal through February 2015 – May 21, 2014