Owning an intellectual property can be an arduous task, in part because defending an IP from those who would steal or alter it is extremely difficult and the laws governing regulation of IP are complicated. Many believe they aren’t strict enough or enforced often enough, and they would be right. The number of domain name disputes in particular has risen exponentially over the past few years as the desire for content has skyrocketed. But how do legislative trends affect how you should go about protecting your IP?

Oddly enough, Russia is at the forefront of leading the world in the fight to protect intellectual property, and chances are your intellectual property lawyer is taking cues out of their playbook. Their judicial system is made up of two different branches which affect IP: commercial courts and your average everyday court. Both have different jurisdictions, and are therefore regulated in different ways with different codes by the Russian Arbitration Procedural Code or the Russian Code of Civil Procedure.

Beginning in the middle of last year, Russian court systems began to mandate a pretrial settlement in commercial courts (those that typically deal with protecting and regulating IP in Russia). That means if you own a domain and wish to vigorously protect it, you could be in for a vicious fight. If someone steals your property, a motion for pretrial settlement must be carried out within thirty days of when your lawyers sent out a cease and desist letter to the offending party. Before that thirty days has elapsed, you cannot use the court system to submit a normal lawsuit.

Coincidentally, the same court systems don’t require that same pretrial motion for mandatory settlement in regard to domain name disputes. In this case, the owner of a particular trademark would be forced to instead head on over to the average everyday court in order to battle it out with the defendant.

In addition, there are laws in place to keep track of domain name owners during any legal disputes that may arise. During proceedings, preventative measures are taken to make sure that domain name registrars are kept in place (registrars often change frequently for both small of large sites).

These new laws might be more complicated, but at the end of the day they are evolving to make domain names and typical intellectual property more secure.

Although our own regulations aren’t quite up to snuff here in the U.S., we’re getting on that bandwagon–and fast. People view it as extremely easy to steal certain types of intellectual property–think downloading TV shows, movies, or music online–but that may not be the case for much longer. More countries are adopting international means of regulating IP, and that could mean stiffer penalties and more readily enforced laws pertaining to the theft of one’s IP here at home.

One way in which thieves effectively steal IP is by hiding across international borders. If the IP comes from one country but you steal it while residing in another, it can be very difficult for authorities to detain or arrest you in connection with the theft. These universal international laws could soon make it easier for law enforcement to find and charge you for what is viewed as a serious crime in the eyes of international law. Don’t be caught unaware of new regulatory trends governing IP if you have a habit of downloading content over the Internet or manage your own intellectual property. No matter who you are, you will want to know how to protect yourself.