Did You Know The Digital Storage Unit, The USB Drive, Had A Contested Past?
Did you know that the digital storage unit of choice at the moment – the USB drive – has a hotly contested past? Software companies Trek Technology and IBM began selling the first USB flash drives commercially in 2000. Trek, from Singapore, sold a model under the brand name ThumbDrive and IBM marketed the first such drives in North America under the name DiskOnKey.
IBM’s USB flash drive became available in December 2000, and had a storage capacity of 8MB – more than five times the capacity of the then-common floppy disks.
In 2002, Netac Technology, a consumer electronics company, which claims to have invented the USB flash drive in the late 1990s, was granted a Chinese patent for the device. But while Netac Technology has since brought lawsuits against PNY Technologies, Lenovo, Sony and Acer, most companies that manufacture USB flash drives do so without regard for its patents.