Gene Simmons Claims This Widely Used Hand Sign Is His

He's filed a trademark request
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2017 7:45 AM CDT
Gene Simmons Claims This Widely Used Hand Sign Is His
Gene Simmons, right, and daughter Sophie Simmons in San Antonio on April 12, 2016.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The "rock on" hand gesture is sported by everyone from teen girls to Spider-Man—but Gene Simmons claims it's all his. The KISS frontman filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office on Friday in an effort to trademark the sign, per the Hollywood Reporter. While similar to the "devil horns" gesture (make a fist, then raise your index and pinky fingers), Simmons' application is for the widely used sign that includes an extended thumb. Simmons claims he was the first person to use it commercially on Nov. 14, 1974, during KISS' "Hotter Than Hell" tour.

Not so, according to a radio DJ who points out that John Lennon used the gesture on the cover of the Beatles' 1966 single "Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby." As the symbol for "I love you" in American Sign Language, the gesture has also long been used by the deaf community, reports the Washington Post. (It's also the gesture Spidey makes when he shoots his webs.) Those appearances could complicate Simmons' endeavor. However, Simmons' application notes he plans to trademark the gesture for "entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist." (More Gene Simmons stories.)

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