KISS’ Gene Simmons files application to trademark “devil’s horns” hand gesture

Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty ImagesIf you’ve ever been to a rock show, chances are you’ve thrown up the “devil’s horns” hand gesture a few times. Now, Kiss bassist Gene Simmons wants to trademark it.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Simmons has filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to officially trademark the hand gesture. THR has a drawing of the gesture in question, which shows the index and pinky fingers up and the thumb perpendicular.

Simmons argues that the gesture was first used “in commerce” on November 14, 1974, which coincides with KISS’ Hotter Than Hell tour.

As for whether Simmons can actually trademark the gesture, that’s another question. As THR points out, it could cause confusion with the symbol’s other meanings — for example, the gesture means “I love you” in American Sign Language.

Additionally, the gesture is used so frequently that it might be considered “too generic” to be the sole trademark of Simmons. The late Ronnie James Dio, of course, was credited with popularizing the “metal horns” gesture, although for that, he folded his thumb over his middle and ring fingers, while Simmons puts his thumb out perpendicular to his index finger.

Even if the trademark is accepted, it’s unclear how well it could be enforced. Professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page has sued to stop people from using his signature hand gesture — he filed a lawsuit against electronic music duo 3OH!3 in 2010. That case was eventually settled.

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