The Commerce Department created a deaprtment called the The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO). The PTO is a federal agency that grants patents and registers trademarks to individuals or companies.
According to West's Encyclopedia of American Law, patents are "issued upon a showing that a particular applicant has discovered or developed a new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, chemical composition, or other invention."
Names, brands, or marks that are granted to an inidividual for use to establish a particular brand for a company or organization.
Both require official paper work and drawings or illustrations of the name/item requesting to be patented or trademarked. If granted, both are considered intellectual property and are protected from theft or misuse by another person or company.