Aug 15, 2012

USB flash drive | Pen drive | Jump drive - Invention | Basic Patent | Original Patent

USB flash drive popularly known as Pen drive, Jump drive, thumb drive, USB memory stick, USB flash disk or simply USB drive is a media storage and transfer device. Its reusability, long life (compared to earlier media storage/transfer devices like CD, DVD etc.) and small size created a monopoly some years ago, when it came into the market.

First patent describing a Flash Drive with USB connection capabilities was US6148354 filed on 5th April 1999. It is assigned to M-Systems Ltd (MILSYS LTD). The Inventors of this patent are listed as BAN AMIR, MORAN DOV and OGDAN ORON.

Controversies regarding the invention are many including IBM's claim on the invention of USB flash drive 

Pua Khein-Seng, a malaysian inventor, developed USB SoC (Flash drive with a single chip) shortly after the invention of the USB drive. Although this claim is unchecked with not many references backing it.

As with any invention, many incremental developments are linked with it and each has its patents. But our objective here is to identify the basic patent of the technology.

US6148354 is the first known patent related to USB flash drive technology, and hence, the basic or original patent for USB flash drive.