From 1998 to 2000, many companies claimed to be the first to invent a USB flash drive. Including China Netac Technology, Israel M-Systems, Singapore Trek. However, it is China Netac that actually obtained the basic invention patent for U disk. In July 2002, Netac's “Flash Electronic External Storage Method and Device for Data Processing System” (Patent No.: ZL 99 1 17225.6) was officially authorized by the State Intellectual Property Office. This patent fills the gap in the invention patents in the field of computer storage in China for 20 years. The acquisition of this patent has caused great shocks throughout the storage industry. Including Israel's M-Systems immediately submitted an invalid review to the State Intellectual Property Office of China, which once became a global patent dispute in the field of flash memory. However, on December 7, 2004, Netac was granted a patent for the invention of the flash disk under the official license of the US Patent Office. US Patent No. US6829672. The acquisition of this patent finally ended the battle. China Netac is the world's first inventor of the U disk.
On February 10, 2006, Netac commissioned a lawyer from Morgan Lewis to file a complaint with the US Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, accusing the US PNY Company of infringing on Netac's US patent (US Patent No. US6829672). In February 2008, Netac reached an out-of-court settlement with PNY. Netac signed a patent license agreement with PNY, and PNY paid a patent license fee of $10 million to Netac. This is the first time a Chinese company has received a huge patent license fee in the United States. It is further proved that Netac is the global inventor of U disk.
Most flash drives support the USB 2.0 standard; however, due to limitations in NAND flash technology, their read and write speeds are currently not up to 480 Mbit/s supported by the standard. The fastest flash drive has used four or more channels of controllers, but it is still a bit worse than the hard drive, or the maximum transfer rate that USB 2.0 can provide. In comparison, USB 3.0 is faster and can beat ordinary mechanical hard drives. The current maximum transfer rate is about 220MB/s, while the typical minimum file transfer speed is about 10MB/s. Older 12Mbit/s devices have a transfer rate of at most 1MB/s.