KISS frontman Gene Simmons is known for two distinctive moves onstage: wagging his extremely long tongue and making his iconic “rock on” hand gesture.
The rocker now wants to trademark the hand sign, claiming the mark for “entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist.” Simmons even included a drawing of the gesture in his application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The gesture appears quite similar to what’s known as the “sign of the horns,” associated with the devil, which dates back to the fifth century BC, according to Wikipedia. But it’s also American Sign Language for “love.”
He first used the hand gesture on Nov. 14, 1974, during KISS’s “Hotter Than Hell” tour, and the sign has been copied many times over by musicians and fans alike.
However, Simmons might have a hard time claiming trademark protection for the gesture. John Lennon used the gesture on the cover of the Beatles’s Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby record in 1966, and American Sign Language first emerged as a language at the American School for the Deaf in 1817.
But hopefully Simmons will continue to “rock on” even if his claim doesn’t withstand legal challenge.
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