Ronnie James Dio’s wife calls patent attempt by KISS frontman “disgusting”
By David Sands
June 23, 2017
Perhaps he wasn’t feeling so devilish after all. Gene Simmons has withdrawn a recently filed patent application for a hand gesture that looks quite similar to the “devil horns” hand sign musicians and fans routinely flash at rock concerts.
His “express abandonment” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office retracting the application came less than two weeks after his original filing. The KISS bassist and frontman claimed he’d first used the hand sign, which he described in the application as “a hand gesture with the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular” in 1974, during what would have been the band’s Hotter Than Hell tour.
The late heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio popularized a similar gesture during his career, which involved bringing one’s thumb in over the downward facing fingers. But he never claimed to have invented it, saying his hand sign originally came from a traditional gesture to ward off the evil eye.
The late singer’s wife, Wendy Dio, told The Wrap it was “disgusting” that Simmons had tried “to make money” through his patent attempt.
“It belongs to everyone; it doesn’t belong to anyone…It’s a public domain; it shouldn’t be trademarked,” she said. “I think he’s made a complete fool of himself.”
Also problematic was the fact that the gesture Simmons had wanted to patent happens to mean “I love you” in American Sign Language.
Why Simmons withdrew his application is still ambiguous, but the claim did generate a lot of public criticism and would have been difficult to approve and enforce.
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