Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Breaking: Gene Simmons Abandons Hand Gesture Trademark Application; Forbes, June 21, 2017

Ronald Abrams, Forbes; Breaking: Gene Simmons Abandons Hand Gesture Trademark Application

"Although images or stylized drawings of hand gestures can function and be registered as trademarks either by themselves or as part of a design mark, hand gestures in and of themselves cannot function as trademarks. And, even if they could, there would be no practical way to enforce the trademark against others (often referred to as “policing the mark”). Compounding the non-registerability of the “devil horn” hand gesture is the fact that the gesture means “I love you” in sign language.

Now, less than two weeks later, Mr. Simmons has apparently reconsidered whether he might have valid trademark rights to the hand gesture, as he expressly abandoned the application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It is also noted that his application drew a fair amount of criticism from fellow musicians and others who saw the application as a shameless overreach by Simmons. Simmons, one of the most successful musician-entrepreneurs in history, owns a stable of other trademark registrations through his Gene Simmons Company. Nice try, Gene."

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