Apple and Liquidmetal are expanding the scope of their licensing agreement, which runs in perpetuity, but up until now included only IP developed before February, 2012. Thanks to a new filing with the SEC, Apple’s exclusive access to Liquidmetal IP in the markets in which it competes now extends to all innovations made up to February, 2014.
Unlike conventional alloys, Liquidmetal is a non-crystalline "glass," and has a number of desirable mechanical properties, including increased hardness and elasticity, and the ability to mold parts in a similar manner to thermoplastics. If you’re holding out hope for a Liquidmetal iPhone 5, though, we have bad news — the alloy’s inventor, Dr. Atakan Peker, says that Apple is three years and hundreds of millions of dollars away from being able to mass produce it.
Update: This post contained a factual error — the licensing agreement between Apple and Liquidmetal is perpetual in the markets in which Apple competes, and will not expire in 2014. Thanks to danstutters for spotting the mistake.