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I can think of one other instance where this has happened before.
Think of the case of MAC addresses and home routing devices. The first three bytes of the MAC address identify the vendor.
However, routers from almost every major manufacturer, including Cisco/Linksys, D-Link, Apple, and Belkin, allow you to clone the MAC address of your PC so that you can get around an archaic limitation the American cable companies (especially Comcast and @Home) used to place on you so that you could not connect more than 1 PC to their network. Companies like Comcast and @Home even supplied their own NIC cards, one of which I have (an SMC 10/100, hey it was free).
Essentially, this means that an Apple, Cisco/Linksys, D-Link, or Belkin router would be impersonating an Intel, Broadcom, SMC, or Realtek NIC to the cable companies.
Apple does this themselves with their routers by letting you specify a MAC address.
Does this mean that every device shipped by these vendors is in violation of IEEE vendor assignments? Other than some rumblings from Comcast years ago, this has never been big news.
Apple allows you to spoof MAC addresses with their routers, which violates the vendor ID assignment from IEEE for their devices. How is a USB device ID different than a MAC address? Are they not both assigned from standards/working groups?
If Apple's going to be pissy about this, they might as well just take that functionality out of their Airport routers so they don't look like hypocrites when they yell about Palm doing the same thing that they do themselves.