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Gene Simmons tries to trademark devil’s horns

The Kiss frontman is seeking to register the sign of the horns with the USPTO for "live performances by a musical artist"

By Jon Chapple on 15 Jun 2017

Dave Grohl, Gene Simmons, horns trademark application

Simmons (right) pictured with Dave Grohl, submitted as a 'specimen' in the TM application

It’s a hand gesture familiar to metalheads across the world – but if Gene Simmons has his way, the sign of the horns could soon his trademark.

In a new application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Kiss frontman is seeking to register “a hand gesture with the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular” for “entertainment, namely live, performances by a musical artist.”

The would-be trademark is pictured below:

Gene Simmons devil's horns trademark diagram

The trademark application, serial number 87482739, was filed on 9 June and accepted on Tuesday. It is expected to be assigned to an examiner within three months of filing.

Various musicians claim to have invented the sign of the horns (or devil’s horns), with the late Ronnie James Dio usually credited for popularising the gesture.

The application says Simmons (real name Chaim Witz) has been throwing the horns since “at least as early as 14 November 1974” – a date that corresponds with Kiss’s Hotter than Hell tour – although use of the gesture by figures as diverse as John Lennon (on the Yellow Submarine cover), Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler, Frank Zappa, George Clinton and Gautama Buddha all predate Simmons’s claim (the Buddha’s by quite some time).


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