Gene Simmons Seeks to Register Trademark on Devil Horns Hand Gesture

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons is taking his notoriety to a new level. Apparently he believes that he alone should have the right to use the well known hand gesture often referred to as devil horns. Simmons claims that the hand gesture is a mark for “entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist.” Here’s the drawing that’s included in the application:

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office received his application on Friday and are currently reviewing it. Simmons claims to have invented the gesture on November 14, 1974, on the Kiss’ Hotter Than Hell tour.

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Wikipedia has something to say about this. The gesture is known as the “Sign of the horns,” and dates back to 5th Century BC to the Buddhist founder.

Does he have a chance? In order to proceed, an examiner would have to consider the likelihood of confusion whether it is too generic to be associated with Simmons. Below is an example from the album cover for the Beatles‘ 1966 single, Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby:

The New York Post points out that the gesture is similar to one “made to a man to imply that his wife is cheating on him.” See the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling in Tam v. Lee.

We will update you as it comes.


  1. KRay05

    To be fair, he doesn’t use the traditional devil horns people seem to keep confusing it with. He doesn’t do the Ronnie James Dio devil horns. He adds the thumb. He didn’t create that either, but he very well may have been the first to use it as entertainement on stage. Adding his own twist to Dio’s.

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