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The point I was trying to make isn't that Palm ships their competition's USB ID, it's that Apple ships a device that gives the option to override the MAC address, and so do a lot of other companies.
I agree that Palm shipping a device with an Apple vendor ID is not a good thing, and is definitely not legal. However, this is a case where most end users don't even know what the heck a MAC address is, or even care.
On a Linksys router, the users know if they push the "Clone MAC" button that their Comcast works. There were and are actually a whole ton of other agreements that the users violated, and still are in violation of if you read the fine print of the Comcast and Verizon user agreements if you use a wireless router, but that's a different story about how some people and companies take things to extremes.
If you want a perfect example of that, look at the British TV licensing.
You can't have it both ways, and if it ever came to the courts, IMHO that would be the first thing the lawyers bring up.
If I were Palm, I would do the same thing. I'd make a little WebOS applet that changes the USB device ID to whatever vendor I chose. Problem solved.
It won't stop Apple from possibly suing them, but Palm and Apple apparently have a ton of mutually licensed patents, much like AMD and Intel do, that could cause a Mutually Assured Destruction scenario. Palm has been down this road before (See Graffiti). Don't think that just because Ed Colligan is gone that they won't be again.