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Archived updates for Friday, October 15, 2004

TGIF: Where in the World is the Newest PCT Contracting State?

San Marino became the 124th Contracting State of the Patent Cooperation Treaty when it deposited its instrument of accession at WIPO on September 14, 2004. This enclave of Italy sits between the regioni of Emilia-Romagna and Marche with its topography dominated by the Apennines mountain range with an area of 61,196 square-kilometers (about the size of Syracuse, New York) just 10 km from the Adriatic sea. According to the CIA, it is the third smallest state in Europe (after the Holy See and Monaco) and claims to be the world's oldest republic.

According to tradition, San Marino was founded in AD 301 when a Christian stonemason named Marinus the Dalmatian fled from the Dalmatian island of Arbe to escape the anti-Christian Roman Emperor Diocletian. Marinus hid on the peak of Mount Titano (the highest of San Marino's seven hills) and founded a small community following Christian beliefs. The owner of the land, a sympathetic lady of Rimini bequeathed it to the little Christian community. It is certain that the area had been inhabited since prehistoric times, although evidence of existence on Mount Titano dates back only to the middle ages. In memory of the stonecutter, the land was renamed "Land of San Marino," and was finally changed to its present-day name, "Republic of San Marino."

The land area of San Marino consisted only of Mount Titano until 1463, at which time the republic entered into an alliance against Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, Lord of Rimini, who was later defeated. As a result, Pope Pius II gave San Marino the towns of Fiorentino, Montegiardino, and Serravalle. Later that year, the town of Faetano joined the republic on its own accord. Since then, the size of San Marino has remained unchanged.

In sports, the San Marino national football team has won only one international game, a 1-0 win over Liechtenstein in 2004. Despite the lack of success at international level, San Marino holds the record for the fastest ever goal in World Cup history. In a World Cup qualifier against England in 1993, David Gualtieri scored after just 8 seconds. However, San Marino went on to lose the match 1-7. Alas, even the world famous San Marino Grand Prix Formula One race actually takes place at the Enzo e Dino Ferrari racetrack in the Italian town of Imola, about 100 km northwest of San Marino, along the Via Emilia.

Thank Goodness It's Friday,

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