Kiss frontman Gene Simmons is trying to trademark a hand gesture.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, in an application filed Friday with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Gene Simmons claims to own a hand gesture that according to wikipedia dates back to the 5th Century BC and is also the American Sign Language gesture for “I love you.”
In the application, Gene Simmons describes the devil horns as “a hand gesture with the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular”. He claims to have first used it on November 14, 1974.
The hand gesture is also very similar to the “Sign of the Horns” or “devil horns”, popularized by every metal band ever.
When asked if he was the one who introduced the devils horns in a 2001 interview with Metal-Rules, Ronnie James Dio (RIP) said, “I doubt very much if I would be the first one who ever did that. That’s like saying I invented the wheel, I’m sure someone did that at some other point. I think you’d have to say that I made it fashionable. I used it so much and all the time and it had become my trademark until the Britney Spears audience decided to do it as well. So it kind of lost its meaning with that. But it was…. I was in Sabbath at the time. It was a symbol that I thought was reflective of what that band was supposed to be all about. It’s NOT the devil’s sign like we’re here with the devil. It’s an Italian thing I got from my Grandmother called the ‘Malocchio.’ It’s to ward off the Evil Eye or to give the Evil Eye, depending on which way you do it. It’s just a symbol but it had magical incantations and attitudes to it and I felt it worked very well with Sabbath. So I became very noted for it and then everybody else started to pick up on it and away it went. But I would never say I take credit for being the first to do it. I say because I did it so much that it became the symbol of rock and roll of some kind.”
Here is the album cover for the 1966 Beatles single for Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby. Fun fact, 1966 is eight years before 1974.