Kiss co-founder Gene Simmons wants his trademark gesture to be literally trademarked.
Simmons holds that he invented the devil horns, the rock hand, the \m/, and popularized it during Kiss’ 1974 Hotter than Hell tour.
While he might have made it popular in that context, he is not the first, or only person to have used the hand sign as it’s known as the Karana Mudra in some parts of India, where it was used by the Gautama Buddha; and John Lennon did it on the front of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby/Yellow Submarine” single in 1966.
The gesture also means “I Love You” in American Sign Language (a language that started in 1817), as it combines the letters “I,” “L,” and “Y.” Late Metal legend Ronnie James Dio also used the gesture, but he preferred to keep his thumbs in. In fact, use of the gesture may go back centuries, with the Los Angeles Times reporting that it has even been seen in medieval manuscripts.
The application that was filed Friday claims Simmons first used the gesture “in commerce” on Nov. 14, 1974, and wants to trademark its use in “entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist” which would hold implications for many uses as basically every rocker, fan or child has used the “Devil Horn” gesture at some point in their life.
If Gene Simmons actually gets the trademark for the hand gesture, it would be the biggest legal finesse in rock history. Stay tuned for more.