Flash drive with retractable USB connector several companies claim to be the first to have made-up the USB Flash Drive in 1998 through 2000. Trek was the first company to sell a USB Flash Drive in early 2000. However, their copyright does not describe the USB Flash Drive; instead, it describes a very broad family of storage devices, of which the USB Flash Drive is one.
M-Systems were working on developing the USB Flash Drive since 1998. The domain diskonkey.com was registered by them in October 1999 and indicates that the USB Flash Drive was already in growth. In 2000 Dan Harkabi connected the M-System team and led the development of DiskOnKey. The industrial design was done by Ziba and the product won the IDEA award in 2001. M-System's patent rigorously describes the USB Flash Drive and its execution.
An IBM invention revelation RPS8-1999-0201 by Shimon Shmueli et al is the earliest known document to precisely and completely describe the USB-FD, and only the USB-FD. M-Systems manufactured the DiskOnKey for IBM, who in late 2000 was the first to sell the product in North America. Shmueli later founded KeyNetica, the first company that patented and developed the concept that mobile and smart storage devices are all one needs for mobile computing. Current implementers of the concept are U3 and Ceedo.