Gene Simmons has withdrawn his application to trademark the devil horns hand gesture used by many rock and metal fans all over the world.

The original papers filed at US Patent and Trademark Office have been updated and say that Simmons’ claim has been abandoned.

The papers read, “The owner of the trademark application withdrew (e.g. abandoned) the application and the application is no longer active.”

The Hollywood Reporter originally said that the bassist and vocalist claimed he first used the hand gesture in November, 1974, during the band’s Hotter Than Hell tour.

However, Simmons told issue 196 of Classic Rock that he got the inspiration for the devil horns from Spider-Man and the way he shoots webs from his wrists.

Simmons said, “We laid down the templates. When you see bands rocking out in sync, that’s us. When you see bands putting up that two-fingered devil horn salute, that started with KISS.”

When asked if it was Ronnie James Dio who actually started it, Simmons replied, “Well, I’ve heard Ronnie say that to my face and I said, ‘God bless you.’ I mean him no ill will, but I think he’s wrong.

Mine came from Spider-Man doing his hand signal, as a homage to him. If you see me in photos, I’m sticking out my thumb. That’s the sign in sign language which means ‘I love you.’”

Ronnie James Dio’s, ex wife and manager, Wendy Dio, told TheWrap that she thought Simmons’ trademark bid was disgusting. She also stated, “[The hand gesture] belongs to everyone; it doesn’t belong to anyone. … It’s a public domain; it shouldn’t be trademarked.”

additional source: Classic Rock via

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  • RTunes68 on

    For being such a self-proclaimed “marketing genius,” I’m a little surprised that Gene didn’t see the backlash he would get for this publicity stunt. Successful or not, he did manage to get his name in the press for this silly trademark attempt. So in the end, I guess Gene wins by losing.

    • Tyger of Pan Tang on

      Great comment RT! For years Simmons has been making these statements about Kiss’s business strategy as if they were a given and that there couldn’t possibly be any alternative to what they do.

  • Frank T on

    You are not alone but how long can you run.
    It’s much too late if you don’t what you’ve got till it’s gone.
    We are one, everywhere I go, everyone I see and I see my face looking back at me.
    Take a breath, close your eyes, you’re on the road again.
    And then you realize they brought you back to life again.

    Miss those days!

  • Jeffbo24 on

    That’s the sign for love anyway, not devil horns.

  • Mr. Rock And Roll on

    Lifelong Kiss fan here. Gene, Kiss did not, by a long shot, start the “bands rocking out in sync” thing. Not at all, and it’s flagrantly and flippantly insulting to hear that. The O’Jays. The Jackson 5, and god damnit the motherfucking badass MC5 were doing it well before Kiss. That’s to name just a few. Gene, I love you, but blow it out your ass.

  • Rattlehead on

    So Gene says the hand gesture is a homage to Spider-Man, but wants to trademark it as his own trademark? That doesn’t make sense to me…I’m curious if negative backlash was the reason behind the decision to drop the trademark idea, or something else…Whatever his reason, it was the right decision.

    And you’re right, Mr. R&R, KI$$ was not the first to perform synchronized moves. By Gene’s admission in old interviews, artists like the Jackson 5 inspired those synched moves. KI$$ was inspired by a lot of artists, just like KI$$ has inspired a lot of artists.

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