COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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San Marino/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.8 Other areas of culture specific legislation

With regard to the registration of marks, patents, designs and models, and therefore to the protection of innovation in the field of intellectual property, the "Rules implementing the European Patent Convention (EPC)" were passed through Decree n. 76 of 22 June 2009 (see chapter 5.1.7).

The San Marino government of the XXVII legislature has entrusted a working group with the task of preparing a draft law on the precise identification of the distinctive elements of the coat of arms and on the protection of the emblem of the Republic of San Marino. San Marino coat of arms, too often used and abused for purposes other than the institutional ones, is an intangible good of inestimable value for the San Marino community and State. It is neither protected by any specific law nor registered with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The contents of the draft laws prepared by the working group in 2011 were discussed during some ad hoc meetings between the Minister of Internal Affairs and majority and opposition Parliamentary groups. During these meetings, the institutional and political aspects concerning the Republic's coat of arms have been addressed. The intention is to rapidly introduce into the San Marino legal order a legislation that harmonises and governs the use of the State's coat of arms, in the awareness that this is important for the heritage of the Republic and of its citizens, which has to be defended and protected. In the meantime, the government has given the mandate to redesign the coat of arms for conservation purposes (in the three official versions, for commercial use and as a logo) and for the planning and advice in terms of visual identity in the documents of institutional and administrative bodies. In July 2011, the Great and General Council (San Marino Parliament) approved the Constitutional Law entitled "Flag and Official Coat of Arms of the Republic of San Marino - Supplementing Law no. 59 of 8 July 1974", which, for the first time, precisely describes, both literally and graphically, the flag and the coat of arms, that is the distinctive symbols of the Republic. The above-mentioned Constitutional Law supplemented the Declaration on the Citizens' Rights (for further details on the fundamental law of the State, see chapter 5.1.1). The aim was to affirm the value of the emblems of the State, representing the distinctive symbols of the sovereignty and statehood of the Republic and to preserve precious intangible goods of the heritage and historical, juridical and cultural identity of the Republic and its Institutions. The Constitutional Law was followed by an ordinary law, namely Law no. 190/2011 "Protection and use of the official coat of arms of the Republic of San Marino and of other public emblems and signs", which also regulates their commercial use, while a specific law will have to be developed for the use of the flag. Constitutional Law no. 1/2011 was aimed at filling what, also with reference to all other States, could be considered a regulatory gap in the San Marino legal system. Indeed, in San Marino the characteristics of the flag and coat of arms have never been precisely described by a law provision, nor have they been included, graphically speaking, in ordinary, qualified or constitutional laws. With regard to the flag, Law no. 10/1936, the "Law regulating the use of the national flag and of foreign flags" only provides for the rules concerning the display of the flag, without defining or describing its characteristics. In relation to the coat of arms, Article 15 of Law no. 15/1931 "Law on the legislation of the nobility status", now repealed, provided that the coat of arms of the Republic surmounted by a closed crown could be used only by public State offices. However, its precise and complete description was not included. Considering the situation, throughout the years the coat of arms has been modified several times. Following the entry into force of Constitutional Law no. 1/2011, by which the coat of arms and the flag were adopted, San Marino requested and obtained in September 2011 to be included in the list of the WIPO Archive (World Intellectual Property Organisation), the UN specialised agency based in Geneva, which protects the States' intellectual property at an international level. Today, the official coat of arms and the flag of San Marino are therefore protected under Article 6 of the 1883 Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property and as such they can be considered the emblems of the Republic on the same footing as those of other countries. In this way, San Marino reiterates its sovereignty and independence in the international community through its State symbols and emblems.

The government programme of the XXVIII legislature describes the "code of cultural goods", which will have to be implemented. This code includes a comprehensive list of the entire legislation on the protection of goods having a historic, cultural, artistic and architectural value and makes reference to the revision of the bodies responsible for the protection, supervision and application of sanctions. The aim is to identify all goods and to review the list of monuments, to be updated on a permanent basis through administrative provisions. At a later stage, a specific regulation for "peculiar goods" at the basis of the UNESCO recognition should be introduced.


Chapter published: 07-10-2015

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