Apple extends exclusive rights to Liquidmetal in consumer products to Feb 2015

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Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean watch with Liquidmetal

Apple has extended its rights to the metal alloy material that it originally licensed from Liquidmetal Technologies in 2010 for exclusive use in consumer electronics products. The proof comes from a recent filing with the SEC:

On May 19, 2014, Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc. (the “Company”) and Apple Inc. (“Apple”) entered into an second amendment (the “Second Amendment”) to the Master Transaction Agreement that was originally entered into on August 5, 2010 (the “MTA”) and amended on June 15, 2012 (the “First Amendment”). 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. Under the Second Amendment, the parties agreed to amend the MTA and the First Amendment to extend the February 5, 2014 date to February 5, 2015.

Up until now Apple has tested the material in its SIM card ejector tool that came with previous generation iPhones, but several rumors in recent years have claimed it could take advantage of Liquidmetal for batteries, screws or other components of its products. However, back in 2012, one of Liquidmetal’s inventors noted that Apple was likely still three to five years away from using the material on a large scale in products: Read more

Apple working on innovative solar charging system for MacBooks, iPads and iPhones

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An innovative approach to solar charging revealed in an Apple patent application published today (via Patently Apple) could make it more practical to power both MacBooks and iOS devices from the sun.

The voltage and power generated by a solar panel varies with the amount of sunlight. To turn the power supply into something that can safely be used by an electronic device, you need a converter or regulator to deliver the correct specs to the device, adding cost and bulk to the panel.

What the Apple patent describes is building the necessary power management circuitry into the MacBook, iPad or iPhone so that it can accept whatever power the panel supplies. This potentially allows for cheaper and more portable panels …  Read more

Apple’s SEC filing reveals Feb. 27 annual shareholder meeting, Cook’s 2012 compensation, and Human Rights committee proposal

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Apple filed documents today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to announce the next annual shareholder meeting held at the company’s headquarters on Feb. 27, 2013.

The proxy statement revealed CEO Tim Cook’s compensation in 2012 equaled less than $4.2 million, but it also detailed six proposals shareholders would vote on at the meeting. The notable proposals include the election of the company’s board and whether Apple should have a “Board Committee on Human Rights”.

Cook’s 2012 compensation included $1.36 million in salary with no stock awards and a $2.8 million incentive plan, where as his 2011 compensation totaled $378 million. However, last year’s mammoth figure included $376.2 million in stock awards that he’ll earn over a decade.

As for the board, Apple seeks to re-elect Cook, Chairman Arthur Levinson, and directors Al Gore, William Campbell, Millard Drexler, Robert Iger, Andrea Jung, and Ronald Sugar. Apple’s board decidely recommended in the filing that shareholders vote against a proposal to have a Human Rights committee.

The proposal originated from common stock owner John Harrington, who owns at least $2,000 in market value stock, and he wishes to create a separate board committee on Human Rights that would “review the implications of company policies, above and beyond matters of legal compliance, for the human rights of individuals in the US and worldwide.”

The board said the committee isn’t necessary, because Apple is “committed to the highest standards of social responsibility and human rights wherever we do business.”

As for details on the executives’ salaries, check out the table below from the SEC filing:

Read more