CRADLE OF FILTH frontman Dani Filth says that Gene Simmons is an “idiot” for attempting to trademark the so-called “devil’s horns” hand gesture. You can listen to the whole interview with DukeTV below.
KISS bassist/vocalist withdrew his application to trademark the symbol in late June — less than two weeks after filing with the federal copyright office. Most music fans slammed Simmons for the trademark request, saying the symbol has become ubiquitous and means different things to different people.
Ronnie James Dio‘s widow Wendy also criticized Simmons for attempting to trademark the hand sign. She told TheWrap: “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.”
Filth was asked by France’s Duke TV for his thoughts on Simmons‘s trademark attempt, and he stated: “I think Wendy Dio said that Ronnie did it first, but it didn’t belong to him either. It’s an ancient symbol. Gene Simmons is just an idiot,” he continued. “If he could, he’d patent the air. Do you know what I mean? I’m sure he’s invented everything anyway — the lightbulb; it wasn’t Edison, it was [Gene]. Trees, he invented them. Shoes, walking… I attribute everything to the great Gene Simmons.”
In his original request, which was filed on June 9, Simmons described the sign as consisting “of a hand gesture with the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular.” He paid $275, seeking to use the hand signal symbol for “Entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist.”
Gene claimed the gesture was first used in commerce on November 14, 1974, which corresponded to KISS‘s “Hotter Than Hell” tour. He wrote in his signed declaration that he believed “no other person, firm, corporation or association has the right to use said mark in commerce, either in the identical form or in such near resemblance.”
Simmons‘s version of the gesture is actually “I love you” in American Sign Language, with the thumb extended, rather than the thumb holding two middle fingers close to the palm.
Paul Stanley also reacted to Gene‘s attempt to trademark devil horns. He said that he has no idea why he meant to do that.
It’s unclear why Simmons suddenly withdrew his application to trademark the gesture but it’s unlikely he would have succeeded anyway.