It’s the reason you can find Kiss branded on everything from wine (and beer) and hot sauce to lunch boxes and coffins. Yes, Kiss has a signature coffin (several, in fact) and you can own one for a little over five grand. So, it seems almost natural that the 67-year old musician would want to trademark the “rock on” hand sign. Simmons filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It included a drawing.
As news of the application spread, so did the numbers of people calling BS on Simmons and his claim that he popularized the symbol during the “Hotter Than Hell” Kiss tour in 1974. As the Washington Post points out in this rather in-depth breakdown, the symbol can be seen in everything from Spiderman comics (it’s how Peter uses his web slingers) to American Sign Language. It’s also the symbol for love – and any rock fan worth their salt fans knows this is different from the “devil horns.”
The whole thing doesn’t seem too terribly thought-out, but it wouldn’t be the first time celebrities looked to expand their brands via trademarks. See: Taylor Swift’s trademark of phrases from her album “1989.” Also, Donald Trump.