On Monday Apple and Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc., entered into a second Master Transaction Agreement that extends Apple's exclusive license for creating consumer electronic products based on IP shared with a subsidiary called Crucible Intellectual Property until Q1 2015. On many of Crucible's patent applications or granted patents today you'll either see Apple as one of the assignees or an Apple engineer listed as one of the inventors. One of the more consistent inventors found listed on these patents is none other than Apple's engineer Christopher Prest. Our report shows you a copy of the key part of the agreement between Apple and Liquidmetal Technologies along with a full up-to-date listing of Crucible Intellectual Property patents for your review.
The first agreement between these two companies was signed on August 05, 2010. The second agreement was signed on Monday May 20, 2014 as noted below.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE
The agreement specifically points to importance of "Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC as follows: 'Under the MTA and the First Amendment, the Company was obligated to contribute to Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC, a special purpose subsidiary of the Company, all intellectual property acquired or developed by the Company from August 5, 2010 through February 5, 2014, and all intellectual property held by Crucible Intellectual Property, LLC was exclusively licensed on a perpetual basis to Apple for the field of use of consumer electronic products under the MTA."
The 16 Crucible Intellectual Property Patent Applications
At this moment there are 16 patent applications that are listed under Crucible Intellectual Property by the US Patent and Trademark Office as follows:
1 20130309121 LAYER-BY-LAYER CONSTRUCTION WITH BULK METALLIC GLASSES
2 20130306199 BULK METALLIC GLASS FEEDSTOCK WITH A DISSIMILAR SHEATH
3 20130306198 LAYER-BY-LAYER CONSTRUCTION WITH BULK METALLIC GLASSES
4 20130306197 AMORPHOUS ALLOY COMPONENT OR FEEDSTOCK AND METHODS OF MAKING THE SAME
5 20130306196 MANIPULATING SURFACE TOPOLOGY OF BMG FEEDSTOCK
6 20130037999 TEMPERATURE REGULATED VESSEL
7 20130037232 VACUUM MOLD
8 20130032254 Crucible Materials For Alloy Melting
9 20120298266 BULK SOLIDIFYING AMORPHOUS ALLOYS WITH IMPROVED MECHANICAL PROPERTIES
10 20120247622 AMORPHOUS ALLOY HOOKS AND METHODS OF MAKING SUCH HOOKS
11 20120171591 CURRENT COLLECTOR PLATES OF BULK-SOLIDIFYING AMORPHOUS ALLOYS
12 20120158151 MEDICAL IMPLANTS
13 20120152412 MEDICAL IMPLANTS
14 20110272064 Objects made of bulk-solidifying amorphous alloys and method of making same
15 20110163509 AMORPHOUS ALLOY SEAL
16 20110162795 AMORPHOUS ALLOY BONDING
The 15 Granted Patents Issued to Crucible Intellectual Property thus Far
2) 8,679,266 Full-Text Objects made of bulk-solidifying amorphous alloys and method of making same
3) RE44,426 Full-Text Continuous casting of foamed bulk amorphous alloys
4) RE44,425 Full-Text Continuous casting of bulk solidifying amorphous alloys
5) 8,501,087 Full-Text Au-base bulk solidifying amorphous alloys
6) RE44,385 Full-Text Method of making in-situ composites comprising amorphous alloys
7) 8,485,245 Full-Text Bulk amorphous alloy sheet forming processes
8) 8,459,331 Full-Text Vacuum mold
9) 8,445,161 Full-Text Current collector plates of bulk-solidifying amorphous alloys
10) 8,431,288 Full-Text Current collector plates of bulk-solidifying amorphous alloys
11) 8,325,100 Full-Text Antenna structures made of bulk-solidifying amorphous alloys
12) 8,197,615 Full-Text Amorphous alloy hooks and methods of making such hooks
13) 8,063,843 Full-Text Antenna structures made of bulk-solidifying amorphous alloys
14) 8,002,911 Full-Text Metallic dental prostheses and objects made of bulk-solidifying amorphhous alloys and method of making such articles
15) 7,896,982 Full-Text Bulk solidifying amorphous alloys with improved mechanical properties
The Possible Killer Patent
The number one granted patent that is missing from the list above is that Titled "Counter-gravity casting of hollow shapes" under number 8,701,742. It's a patent that fulfills the agreement in that Apple contributed to this invention under Crucible which allows them to use this technology or invention for use with a consumer electronics product.
That patent opens the door to a killer December patent application from Apple regarding hollow structures like a future iPhone design. This was also covered last month. Over the years Patently Apple has covered many liquid metal or bulk metallic glasses related patents that you can search for on our site. Here are a few of them: One, two and three.
Although a recent Apple patent strongly suggested that the iPhone has been one of the products using liquid metal, Apple has yet to verify or confirm the use of this material in a straight forward manner in any of its literature.
Apple signing an extension to their Master Agreement with Liquidmetal Technologies tells us that there's been enough progress made working with this material to warrant this extension. However the limiting timeframe is a mystery. Does Apple need this time to prepare their first big-bang product using this material? Only time will tell.
About Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Comments are reviewed daily from 4am to 7pm PST and sporadically over the weekend.