KISS frontman Gene Simmons wants to trademark a hand gesture long associated with 1970s arena rock as well as Marvel Comics' "Spider-Man", joining a long line of dubious attempts by people to own nebulous things. He's claiming the gesture as his own for the goal of "entertainment, namely, live performances by a musical artist; personal appearances by a musical artist".
Simmons says that the gesture became an iconic park of KISS' act during its 1974 Hotter Than Hell tour.
Additionally, John Lennon makes a similar hand gesture on the cover of the single for "Yellow Submarine" and "Eleanor Rigby". Now, that's not quite the same gesture Simmons is trying to trademark; the drawing submitted with the application leaves the thumb out, instead of placed over the middle and ring fingers.
Meanwhile Gene Simmons of KISS frequently uses a modified version in which his thumb is extended outward. Apparently, horn-hands have a far more sinister meaning in Spain, Greece and Italy, where The New York Post reports that the so-called "corna" signal has implied that a spouse is cheating for literally thousands of years. In case you don't know what we're talking about, here's the image submitted with the application.
Can a hand gesture be trademarked?
The coveted rockstar may have some issues convincing the trademark examiner however, considering the symbol is not only extremely well-known, but is also the symbol for "I love you" in American Sign Language, and as io9 points out, the exact same alignment that Spiderman has been using for decades to shoot his web.
No matter what happens for Simmons, we guarantee nobody will ever be able to trademark a handshake.