Last week, Gene Simmons thought for some reason that trying to trademark the devil horns “rock and roll” hand gesture was a good idea. That’s right, the Kiss leader filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but now it looks like reason has prevailed: Simmons appears to be done trying to own the devil horns, since the Patent and Trademark Office website now says that as of June 20, the application has been “abandoned because the applicant filed an express abandonment.” Simmons has yet to comment on the matter, but the paperwork seems to say it all.
Metal legend Ronnie James Dio is believed to be the actual inventor, or at least popularizer, of the gesture, so his widow will surely be pleased by this development, since she previously said:
“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.”
It turns out the gesture might even pre-date Dio’s use of it, though: As NME notes, a version of the gesture is seen flashed by John Lennon on a version of The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby” single. Whatever the case, you can rest easy knowing you can navigate the world and bend your fingers however you want without having to look for Gene Simmons over your shoulder.