As reported last week, KISS' Gene Simmons is attempting to trademark the devil’s horns, a hand gesture which has been widely used throughout the world for decades and in particular has been popularised amongst classic and heavy rock bands since the 1970's.
Wendy Dio, the wife of the late great Ronnie James Dio, who is widely credited with popularising the gesture, has responded to Simmons' application with the US Patent And Trademark Office. “I think he’s made a complete fool of himself. To try to make money off of something like this is disgusting," said Dio in an interview with The Wrap. "It’s a public domain; it shouldn’t be trademarked.”
Simmons' claim is fairly easily disputed as not only was it used in popular contemporary culture predating KISS, such as by John Lennon on the cover of The Beatles' 1969 Yellow Submarine album and single. Ronnie James Dio himself credited his grandmother with inspiring his use of the hand gesture, with the original meaning being an Italian sign for evil.