Rock star Gene Simmons has dropped his bid to trademark the “devil horns” gesture.
The Kiss bassist and singer says he first made the sign in November 1974 while performing on stage.
However, he would have struggled to get the trademark passed because it also means “I love you” in American Sign Language.
Other rockers including Ronnie James Dio have also been credited with introducing the sign to rock music.
In the trademark application, the sign was described as consisting “of a hand gesture with the index and small fingers extended upward and the thumb extended perpendicular”.
Image caption Gene Simmons was trying to trademark this gesture, which also means “I love you” in American Sign Language
This gesture is also used in American Sign Language, as a fusion of the words “I,” “love” and “you”.
George Sevier from law firm Gowling WLG says it would have been hard for Gene Simmons to trademark the gesture anyway.
“Once registered, trademarks give a monopoly to their owner. So if this application was registered, in theory it could have been used prevent anyone else from using the gesture in relation to live performance.
“Because this gesture is widely used, there are a lot of people who would want to make sure Simmons does not get the monopoly.
“It seems he saw the scale of the opposition he was facing, and made the sensible move of withdrawing the application.”
Other social media users are crediting an alternative version of the horns sign to the late singer Ronnie James Dio, who was at one point the lead singer of Black Sabbath.
Dio, who died in 2010, is credited with a version involving the thumb folding inwards, unlike the sign Gene Simmons has trademarked.
It is claimed it was used by Dio’s Italian grandmother to ward off the evil eye.