Thursday, June 22, 2017

Gene Simmons abandons trademark request for devil horns hand gesture

Gene Simmons has reportedly abandoned a recently-filed trademark request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to secure ownership and rights to the use of the rock hand gesture often referred to as the ‘Devil’s Horns.”

Simmons has apparently reconsidered whether he might have valid trademark rights to the hand gesture, according to Forbes, while the 67-year-old rocker has expressly abandoned the request filed on June 9 – as indicated on his application with the US government department here.

The KISS bassist was seeking registration of the hand gesture itself, rather than an image or depiction of the gesture, describing the mark in the application as “a hand gesture with the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular.”

In his application, Simmons claimed first use of the hand gesture in commerce on November 14, 1974, which was early in KISS’ North American tour for their second album, “Hotter Than Hell.”

A basic Wikipedia search reveals that hand gesture not only dates back to the 5th Century BC founder of Buddhism, but that it’s also American Sign Language for "I love you."

While there may be some question about the gesture’s first use in modern entertainment circles, at least two indications reveal it surfaced in the 1960s – prior to the formation of KISS in 1973 and Simmons’ claim of first use in late 1974.

John Lennon used the gesture on the cover of The Beatles’ 1966 single, “Yellow Submarine”, and again – in cartoon form – above Paul McCartney's head on the cover of the 1969 soundtrack album for the animated film of the same name.

A Chicago psychedelic band called Coven also used the gesture on the back cover of their 1969 album, “Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls”, and reportedly opened and closed their concerts with the horns as early as 1968.

Ronnie James Dio is often cited as the source of mainstream rock’s affair with the devil’s horns, reportedly using it during Rainbow shows in the mid-1970s (and, later, with Black Sabbath and solo) while claiming his Italian grandmother used it to ward off the evil eye – which is known in Southern Italy as malocchio.

See also:

Gene Simmons files trademark request for devil horns hand gesture
Gene Simmons hints at KISS farewell plans
KISS cancel Manchester concert following terrorist attack
KISS frontman Paul Stanley suffers concussion in skiing incident
Search KISS at hennemusic