Pressure is mounting on the administrators of national internet domain names to provide cheap and cost effective ways of settling cybersquatter disputes.Following this week's meeting in Geneva, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has published a best practice paper designed to encourage the administrators of country-level domains (ccTLDs) like dot-co-dot-uk and dot-org-dot-uk to provide alternative dispute resolution for warring parties. Francis Gurry, assistant director general of WIPO, said the organisation has no power to impose the recommendations on ccTLDS but hoped to encourage uniformity across the industry. "We have no way of enforcing these recommendations," he said. "But we believe that if a ccTLD is operating as an open registry [i.e. allowing anyone to apply for a domain] then it is very desirable that they have a dispute resolution policy." Without a suitable dispute resolution policy, most domain name disputes end up in expensive court battles, and WIPO is quick to admit its recommendations are impossible to enforce without government backing. "In a certain sense the logical responsibility must lie with the government of the corresponding country," Gurry added. The white paper recommends a number of basic principles for ccTLDs when dealing with domain name disputes, particularly referring to trademark holders. But according to the UK's ccTLD, Nominet, the recommendations don't go far enough. Eleanor Bradley, customer support manager at Nominet, claimed WIPO is ignoring the value of mediation in settling outstanding disputes. She also accused the organisation of failing to protect the intellectual property of non-trademark holders. "There are many smaller companies which have long established rights to a name but haven't applied for the trademark," said Bradley. "The WIPO proposals require evidence of an identical or similar trademark, but we think people have wider rights to their name." WIPO admits the rights of non-trademark holders need to be addressed and according to Gurry, the organisation is already addressing the issue in relation to global domains (like dot-com, dot-org and dot-net). "This is a minimalist procedure," he said. "And the document can be adapted to changes in the future."