Apple's attempt to trademark the term multi-touch has been denied by the United States Patent and Trademark office.
The original filing to trademark the name was submitted by Apple on 9 January 2007 – the date the original iPhone launched but a ruling by the trademark trial and appeal board has insisted that the term cannot be claimed.
"…we find that 'multi-touch' not only identifies the technology, but also describes how a user of the goods operates the device," explained a statement from the board.
Multi-touch is now a familiar term to describe a touchscreen in which multiple points of contact can be interpreted.
This has allowed pinching to zoom and multiple tap entry, features found on many tablets, phones and, of course, Apple's iPhone and iPad.
So, Apple will not be claiming ownership of the term, which has now moved into common usage.