We all know the background, Palm introduced the Palm Pre, which the company equipped with the ability to sync with iTunes. Apple didn’t like it and prevented use of this within an iTunes update, Palm re-enabled its feature, Apple stopped it again and Palm took a complaint to the USB Forum, the body which polices such things.
Palm had accused Apple of improperly using its USB Vendor ID to block sync with iTunes. This view wasn’t shared by the USB Forum, where executive director, Traci Donnell, said: “In the view of the USB-IF, Palm’s allegation (if true) does not establish that Apple is using its Vendor ID (VID) contrary to USB-IF’s policies. Therefore, under present USB-IF policies, the USB-IF does not consider the alleged use, without more, to be ‘improper.’”
Palm itself may have got itself in trouble. When the company updated its Palm Pre software to make its device sync with iTunes, it used Apple’s Vendor ID.
“Under the Policy, Palm may only use the single Vendor ID issued to Palm for Palm’s usage,” said Donnell. “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.”
The USB-IF has given Palm seven days to respond to this potential violation and to clarify its intent. This could turn into very bad news for Palm.