USA 19 Jun 2017
Gene Simmons wants trademark protect the “rock on” (or devil horns) hand gesture. The Kiss member claims he was the first to use the popular hand gesture and has therefore filed a trademark application in the United States.
The “rock on” gesture is a hand gesture that has become almost synonym with heavy metal. By holding the middle and the ring finger against the palm of the hand while the forefinger and the lung finger are stretched, the hand forms what may look like two horns. Gene Simmons claims he was the first to use the gesture commercially on November 14, 1974 – during the band’s Hotter Than Hell tour.
Simmons has filed a trademark application to the U.S. Patent Office (USPTO) to protect the gesture as a trademark in the entertainment industry for live concerts.
Whether Simmons is entitled to receive trademark protection for the gesture remains to be seen. There are several other theories about who made the gesture popular in rock music. Some claim that it was Ronnie James Dio (who replaced Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath) who made the gesture popular. John Lennon also makes a similar gesture on the cover of the single Yellow Submarine from 1966. Now it is up to the U.S. Patent Office to make its assessment.
EDIT: Within two weeks from filing, Gene Simmons withdrew his trademark application. Some speculators believe that this was merely a publicity coup.