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USB supreme court backs Apple in Palm Pre kerfuffle

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The USB Implementers Forum has decreed that Apple has not violated industry standards by preventing the Palm Pre from accessing iTunes.

When Palm released the Pre over the summer, it synced up nicely with Apple's online music and media fiefdom, cleverly masquerading as an iPod. But Jobs and company soon put a stop to such playacting.

Just ten days later, Palm updated the Pre's WebOS to resume its iTunes charade, and the company soon filled a complaint with the USB Implementers Forum over Apple's faux-iPod killing, accusing the Jobsian cult of improperly implementing the USB Vendor ID number. Palm said that Apple was "in effect turning the USB Vendor ID number into a lockout code."

At long last, the USB Implementers Forum has responded. The organization not only approved Apple's behavior, but also said that Palm had violated its user policy by impersonating an iPod. "Under the Policy, Palm may only use the single Vendor ID issued to Palm for Palm’s usage," reads the letter, snagged by DigitalDaily. "Usage of any other company’s Vendor ID is specifically precluded."

Palm did not immediately respond to requests for comment. But the company did toss a comment to Bloomberg. "We engaged with the USB-IF because we believe consumers should have freedom and choice in how and where they use the DRM-free media they already own," said a Palm spokeswoman. "We’re reviewing the letter from the USB-IF, and we will respond as appropriate."

Palm has seven days to respond. As it stands, the Pre cannot accessed iTunes. Apple booted the Pre again back on September 10. ®

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