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Gene Simmons responds to claims he can’t trademark rock hand gesture

Musician Gene Simmons attends Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia 2017 - Day 2 at Pennsylvania Convention Center on June 2, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Musician Gene Simmons attends Wizard World Comic Con Philadelphia 2017 - Day 2 at Pennsylvania Convention Center on June 2, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

KISS frontman Gene Simmons was criticized for his recent attempt to trademark the heavy metal devil horn hand gesture.

In June, Simmons filed an application to register a trademark with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office on his iconic rock hand gesture.

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According to the application, the well-known gesture consists of “the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular,” as also noted in Simmons’ drawing included below.

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After Simmons submitted the application, Wendy Dio, widow of Ronnie James Dio, spoke out about him trying to capitalize on a symbol that belongs to rock culture.

“To try to make money off of something like this is disgusting. It belongs to everyone; it doesn’t belong to anyone. It’s a public domain; it shouldn’t be trademarked,” she said.

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Simmons has made his first public remarks since halting his trademark attempt. In an interview with the Windsor Star, Simmons said he regrets nothing.

“I regret nothing. Wake up every morning and let your conscience be your guide,” he said. “Did you know I own the money bag logo? The dollar sign with the bag of money. I own all kinds of things. I own ‘motion pictures’ as a trademark. Anyone who thinks that’s silly — the silliest thing I’ve ever done is wear more makeup and higher heels than your mommy.”

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Simmons continued: “People said, ‘You can’t do that.’ Actually, b***h — I can. I can do anything I want to do.”

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Simmons’ trademark document stated that he was attempting to claim the gesture as a symbol for “entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist,” which was reportedly first shown during his band’s 1974 Hotter Than Hell tour.

Many people on Twitter were taking offense to Simmons’ attempt to trademark the symbol, mentioning that it’s similar to the American Sign Language gesture for love.

After filing the application in June, Forbes reported that Simmons halted his efforts due to the backlash his proposal generated, claiming that other musicians “saw the application as a shameless overreach by Simmons.”

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