The number of Internet domain names under dispute saw a rise in 2009, the World Intellectual Property Organisation said Tuesday.

The Geneva-based organisation dealt with claims on 4,688 domains last year, up from 3,985 the year before. The total caseload, however, declined by 9.5 percent, as many incidents involve multiple attempts to “squat”.

Cybersquatting is defined as “the abusive registration of trademarks as domain names.”

Last year, parties based in 114 countries were named in disputes, a 10 percent rise from 2008, and nearly all cases involved the “.com” option on domain names, followed by “.net” in a far second.

The US, France, Britain, Germany, Switzerland and Spain were the most frequent bases for complainants. The US, Britain, Canada, Spain and South Korea were the most common respondents, WIPO said.

In dealing with the cases, WIPO tribunals transferred the domain name in 87 percent of cases and only in 13 percent denied the complaints.

The WIPO system, under way for the last decade, is considered a cheaper alternative to court litigation.