USB Compliance Organization Sides With Apple in Palm Pre Syncing Dispute

Digital Daily reports that the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has responded to Apple and Palm regarding the two companies' ongoing spat over Palm's attempts to allow its Pre smartphone to sync media directly via iTunes. Despite Palm's apparent misuse of Apple USB Vendor ID codes, Palm reported Apple to the USB-IF for improper use of its own Vendor ID to shut out the Pre.

Palm had argued that Apple, by issuing an update to iTunes that used the USB Vendor ID number to prevent the software from automatically transferring content to any non-Apple USB device, had violated "the letter and spirit of the USB-IF Membership Agreement" which is "intended to facilitate interoperability between USB devices, not to regulate the content that flows between them."

Today's response from the USB-IF not only dismissed Palm's complaint against Apple, but also turned the tables on Palm by requesting an explanation of the company's apparent violation of USB policies in using Apple's USB Vendor ID. From the USB-IF's letter:

I attach for your information the USB-IF's adopted and published policy regarding Vendor Identification Numbers (VIDs). Under the Policy, Palm may only use the single Vendor ID issued to Palm for Palm's usage. Usage of any other company's Vendor ID is specifically precluded. Palm's expressed intent to use Apple's VID appears to violate the attached policy.

Please clarify Palm's intent and respond to this potential violation within seven days.

With several moves having been made by each side in the cat-and-mouse game over Palm Pre media syncing with iTunes, Apple currently holds the upper hand, having disabled Pre syncing yet again with the release of iTunes 9 earlier this month.

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