KISS’ Gene Simmons – and the Importance of a Proper Trademark Search

Recently, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that rock star Gene Simmons of KISS filed a trademark application to register the “devil horns” hand symbol. He claimed that he first used the hand gesture in commerce on November 14, 1974.

Unfortunately, the hand gesture may be considered generic, since it is used by many musicians, including being featured on the album cover of the Beatles’ 1966 single, Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby. The gesture is also similar to the “Sign of the horns,” which dates back to the 5th Century BC.  In addition, the version of the gesture that Simmons attempted to trademark bears resemblance to the American Sign Language symbol for “I love you.”

Before you register a trademark, it’s important to conduct a proper trademark search. You can uncover issues like these – or even avoid violating someone else’s rights by using a similar trademark. Not only that, it is relatively inexpensive and will give you a higher chance of success in protecting your rights.