Netac Technology

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Netac Technology
Private
Industry Consumer electronics
Headquarters Shenzhen, Guangdong province, People's Republic of China
Key people
Guoshun Frank Deng, co-founder
Products USB flash drives, MP3 players, HDD drives/enclosures, microcontroller units
Website netac.com

Netac Technology Co Ltd (SZSE: 300042) is a consumer electronics company based in Shenzhen, China. A Chinese OEM and ODM,[1][2] the company claims to have invented the USB flash drive.[3]

History[edit]

Founded on 29 April 1999 by Guoshun Frank Deng and Cheng Xiaohua, the two worked for a year developing their first product, an eight megabyte flash memory drive that Deng christened the U disk.[4]

Flash drive[edit]

On July 24, 2002 Netac was granted its first patent, for an electronic flash memory external storage method and device.[5] At least 14 companies have since requested invalidation of this patent, as "[the patented device] has been anticipated by the combination of two references, i.e. USB System Architecture and the Handbook of Flash Memory Technology published in 1997 and such combination is obvious to those skilled in the art."[6]

Although the company claims to have invented the first USB flash drive in 1999 and submitted a Chinese patent application for the device the same year, the patent was granted and the product launched only in 2002.[4] IBM had released an eight megabyte USB flash drive in late 2000,[7] which preceded Netac's offering to market by more than a year and a half.

Products[edit]

As of 2009, Netac's product line mainly consists of USB flash drives, external hard disk drives, MP3 Players, digital photo frames, microcontroller units, and SD cards.

Patents[edit]

Unlike many other Chinese OEMs, Netac holds a number of patents.[8] By 2009, Netac had filed for over 300 patents in the USA, South Korea, Singapore, and the Peoples' Republic of China. Over 200 of those patent applications had been filed by 2005.[8]

Patents held by Netac include:

  • Chinese Patent No. ZL99117225.6 for an electronic flash memory external storage method and device.
  • US Patent No. 6,829,672, for an electronic flash memory external storage method and device.
  • Chinese Patent No. ZL02114797.3 for a USB Wireless Modem
  • South Korean Patent No. 583626, for a multifunction semiconductor storage device and method for booting-up computer host
  • Singaporean Patent No. SG119038, for an automatically executing method using semiconductor storage devices

Lawsuits[edit]

Intellectual-property infringement is widespread in China,[8] and Netac has taken companies both in and outside of this nation to court in order to protect the monopoly its patents grant.

Companies it has sued include US-based PNY Technologies,[9] Beijing's Lenovo[10] and Huaqi Information Digital Technology Co Ltd, Shenzen's Fuguanghui and Xingzhidao,[11] Japan-based Sony, and Taiwan's Acer and Tai Guen Enterprise Co.

Its 2006 lawsuit against PNY Technologies was the first time a Chinese company filed patent infringement charges overseas.[3]

Shenzhen Coocaa Network Technology Co Ltd[edit]

A joint venture with Skyworth, Shenzhen Coocaa Network Technology Co Ltd provides free high-definition movie and video download services.[12] Netac has developed USB flash drives that, in conjunction with USB port equipped Skyworth televisions, allow video to be played from the drive.

Production bases[edit]

Netac has a factory in Nanshan Lishan Industrial Park, Shenzhen.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ OEM Netac Official Site
  2. ^ ODM Netac Official Site
  3. ^ a b Netac reaches settlement in US patent case China Daily/Xinhua 2008-03-27
  4. ^ a b G. Frank Deng: An IPR warrior leading a new industry Netac Official Site
  5. ^ Netac Timeline Netac Official Website
  6. ^ [1] - Xiaoguang YANG, Zhongzi Law Office
  7. ^ Lenovo 8MB USB Memory Key - Overview Lenovo Official Site
  8. ^ a b c Thinking for Themselves The Economist, Survey: Patents and Technology, Oct 20th 2005
  9. ^ China Goes A-Courtin' money.cnn.com, March 7, 2006: 12:17 PM EST
  10. ^ Netac And Huaqi Settle Suit JLM Pacific Epoch
  11. ^ Flash memory disk market under fire Xinhua - English 2006-10-17 13:31
  12. ^ Skyworth and Netac set up Coocaa Network Technology Co., Ltd. jointly Skyworth Mobile Official Site
  13. ^ Factory Netac Official Site

External links[edit]