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Chelyabinsk Seeks Trademark as 'Meteorite Capital'

Chelyabinsk has applied to Russia's main patent service for rights to the title, "the meteorite capital."

The Chelyabinsk region wants an official trademark for use of the meteorite title in products and advertising, and the governor's administration has already submitted an application to the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks, RIA-Novosti reported Wednesday.

According to Natalya Denisova, head of the regional administration's department for special projects, the trademark would most likely be used in tourism services and cultural events, as well as publishing and video products.

"It's unlikely that we'd have a conflict of interest with Chebarkul or with businesspeople. … We're all after one main goal here: to promote a positive image of the Chelyabinsk region," Denisova said in comments carried by RIA-Novosti.

Chebarkul, a city in Chelyabinsk, was the meteorite's final destination.

A company called Patent Group submitted several other applications for trademarks, including "Mysterious Meteorite," "Urals Meteorite" and "Chebarkul Meteorite." Applicants have asked to register the trademark on a variety of products, including coffee, tea, sugar, ice cream and spices.

The Feb. 15 meteor, which NASA said measured 49 meters by 55 meters and released about 30 times as much energy as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, injured more than 1,500 and caused about 1 billion rubles ($30 million) of damage.

It was the largest reported meteor event since 1908, when a space rock exploded over Tunguska, Siberia, flattening an estimated 80 million trees over 2,150 square kilometers of taiga.

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