KISS bassist Gene Simmons has ditched his attempt to trademark the ‘sign of the horns’ hand gesture.
The Demon was met with a huge backlash when it emerged last week he was attempting to claim the gesture – which is synonymous with rock and metal music – as his own.
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Gene axed his application yesterday (20th June). The status simply reads: “Abandoned because the applicant filed an express abandonment.”
Gene, who is estimated to be worth $300million (£235million), filed the original application on Friday 9th June claiming that the ‘sign of the horns’ or ‘devil horns’ originated from KISS’s Hotter Than Hell tour in 1974.
Submitting extensive details including a diagram of the gesture, he paid $275 to have try and claim the symbol for "Entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist."
Slightly different to how many people make the sign, Gene noted that his version “consists of a hand gesture with the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular.”
Music fans criticised Simmons’ bold claims saying the ‘sign of the horns’ is most associated with late rock legend Ronnie James Dio, who is widely credited with popularising it.
Dio’s widow Wendy berated Gene Simmons for his actions, saying: "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."
Other strong counter arguments included the fact that the gesture was used by John Lennon on the single cover to The Beatles’ double A-side Yellow Submarine / Eleanor Rigby in 1966, eight years before Gene Simmons said he founded it. The cartoon drawing of John Lennon on the 'Yellow Submarine' album cover is also making the sign.
The back cover to the 1969 album ‘Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls’ by psychedelic rockers Coven also featured band members making the gesture, while to Parliament-Funkadelic fans in the early seventies it was known as the ‘P-Funk sign’.
Outside of the music world, the gesture also means “I love you” in American sign language.