Simmons abandons devil’s horns trademark bid
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Gene Simmons has dropped his bid to trademark the ‘devil’s horns’ gesture for use on stage.
Simmons (pictured) filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) earlier this month 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 Kiss frontman claimed he was the first to use the sign of the horns – which is also “I love you” in American sign language – as far back as November 1974.
However, the application has now been withdrawn after USPTO received a “letter of express abandonment” on 20 June.
Most legal experts considered his bid to trademark the gesture to have little chance of success, with the gesture most associated with the late Ronnie James Dio.
Simmons’ Gene Simmons Company has owned a total of 173 trademarks, including the ‘money bag’ symbol with a dollar sign and the phrases “$#it girls say” and “I want to marry a millionaire” for use on clothing.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.
Gene Simmons tries to trademark devil’s horns
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:
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.
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).