In June, Simmons filed an application to register a trademark with the U.S Patent and Trademark Office on his iconic rock hand gesture.
According to the application, the well-known gesture consists of “the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular,” as also noted in Simmons’ drawing included below.
After Simmons submitted the application, Wendy Dio, widow of Ronnie James Dio, spoke out about him trying to capitalize on a symbol that belongs to rock culture.
“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,” she said.
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Simmons has made his first public remarks since halting his trademark attempt. In an interview with the Windsor Star, Simmons said he regrets nothing.
“I regret nothing. Wake up every morning and let your conscience be your guide,” he said. “Did you know I own the money bag logo? The dollar sign with the bag of money. I own all kinds of things. I own ‘motion pictures’ as a trademark. Anyone who thinks that’s silly — the silliest thing I’ve ever done is wear more makeup and higher heels than your mommy.”
Simmons continued: “People said, ‘You can’t do that.’ Actually, b***h — I can. I can do anything I want to do.”
Simmons’ trademark document stated that he was attempting to claim the gesture as a symbol for “entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist,” which was reportedly first shown during his band’s 1974 Hotter Than Hell tour.
Many people on Twitter were taking offense to Simmons’ attempt to trademark the symbol, mentioning that it’s similar to the American Sign Language gesture for love.
— Deanna Rilling (@DeannaRilling) June 14, 2017
1) That's 'I love you' in ASL cuz the thumb's out
2) Even w/ thumbs in, there's another meaning
And ASL's been here for hundreds of years https://t.co/NznTlq6zqr
— Nyle DiMarco (@NyleDiMarco) June 14, 2017
Today in the world of crazy copyright: Gene Simmons wants to trademark devilish hand signal🤘 https://t.co/wdAFbWDpub
— Ancilla (@ncilla) June 15, 2017
After filing the application in June, Forbes reported that Simmons halted his efforts due to the backlash his proposal generated, claiming that other musicians “saw the application as a shameless overreach by Simmons.”