Skip to Main Content

Kinesiology 400: Entrepreneurship for Applied Health Professionals: Trademark, Copyright, & Plagiarism

Students in KN 400 will find this guide helpful for developing their final projects.

Logos (Trademark)

Logos (Trademark)

Symbol or other design used by an organization to distinguish its products and services

KN 400 Assignment Best Practices

  • Design original logo to represent goods or services, or. . .

  • Adapt a logo by using existing content from Creative Commons or public domain images

  • Use a trademark symbol to distinguish products and services from others in the marketplace
    •   TM Unregistered trademark symbol to promote a brand of goods and products
    •   SM Service mark symbol used to promote a brand of services
    •   ® Registered trademark symbols are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (TM Unregistered trademark symbol is appropriate for this assignment)

  • Nominative use of trademarks: instance where one may use the trademark of another as a point of reference to describe the product or make a comparison between products

Images & More

Images, Photos, Graphs, Charts, Tables

  • Use images that are licensed under Creative Commons, Flickr, or in the public domain

  • Create images or take photos specific to the project (As the photographer, you own the rights to the photos you take)

  • If taking pictures of people, ask that they sign a photo release form 

Using Images from the Internet

Many images and other visual content types are pulled directly from the Internet, but verifying the original source of these materials can be difficult. Load the image file to Google Images to help locate the original source.  In some instances, you may be able to find the copyright holder and request permission. If you are unable to locate the rights holder, consider using licensed images from stock photos or using images licensed via Creative Commons or in the public domain.

Intellectual Property

Three areas of law, i.e., copyright, trademark (and trade secrets), and patent, that are defined and protected by statutory or common law.

Trademark: word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.  A service mark is a word, phrase, symbol, and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than goods. The term “trademark” is often used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.

Trade secrets: information that companies keep secret to give them an advantage over their competitors, e.g., in the food industry, recipes, measurements, the “secret sauce”

Copyright: protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed.

Patent: limited duration property right relating to an invention, granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office in exchange for public disclosure of the invention.

Retrieved from:

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office FAQ:


Section 106 of the U.S. copyright law (17 U.S.C. §106) grants copyright owners the exclusive rights of reproduction, adaptation (including the creation of derivative works), distribution, publication, performance, and display.

Retrieved from:

Fair Use

Section 107 of the U.S. copyright law (17 U.S.C. §107) places some limitations upon the copyright holder’s exclusive rights.  Fair use permits the limited use or reproduction of copyrighted content without seeking permission from the rights holder.  Some examples of fair use include criticism or commentary, parody, news reporting, research, and teaching. Note that fair use is not automatic, even when using content to meet educational objectives.   

Use the four-factor test to make a determination about seeking permission from the rights holder. 

Note that commercial uses may favor more heavily against fair use.

Using Copyrighted Content

  • Cite the original source: title, author, publication, location, website
  • Provide attribution for images, charts, graphs, and photos, i.e., Photo Credit: John Q. Public


According the Oxford English Dictionary, plagiarism is “the action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft.”

Quoting is the inclusion of another’s work (verbatim) in your content.  When using exact language from a source, remember to use quotation marks or indent the original text to indicate tat the language is taken directly from the original.  Cite the material using in-text citation or endnotes.

Paraphrasing means restating the meaning or intent of the original text using your own words.  Paraphrased language must also be cited.

Plagiarism is often unintentional, so remember to use style guides or manuals to cite excerpts and quotes properly.