The “rock and roll” sign. The devil’s horns. The maloik. Call it what you want, but Gene Simmons wants to make sure you call it his. The KISS frontman and rap tastemaker is attempting to patent the iconic hand gesture long associated with rock as belonging to him. In a new application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Simmons is claiming that he owns the rights to the gesture and that he was the first to use it in commercial and entertainment spaces.
Though the gesture means different things in different cultures — and by some estimations goes back centuries — Simmons claims that it’s first commercial use in the entertainment arena was in November of 1974, during his group’s Hotter Than Hell tour. Now, he wants the Patent Office to agree that the gesture is his alone. In an application filed on June 9, it looks like Simmons is seeking standing to go after any artist that whips out the horns in a live performance.
His application claims that he’s claiming the trademark (of the beast) for “entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist.”
The Patent Office has yet to decide whether to grant Simmons the mark. But if he’s successful your fave local metal bands might want to think twice before uploading their set to Youtube.