The TRIPS agreement was negotiated during the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) from 1986 to 1994. Its reception was the culmination of an intensive lobbying program by the United States, supported by the European Union, Japan and other developed nations. Campaigns of unilateral economic support under the system of generalized preferences and the constraint under Section 301 of the Trade Act have played an important role in combating competing political positions favoured by developing countries such as Brazil, but also Thailand, India and the Caribbean basin countries. The U.S. strategy to link trade policy to intellectual property standards can be attributed to the entrepreneurial spirit of Pfizer executives in the early 1980s, who mobilized companies in the United States and made maximizing intellectual property privileges the top priority of U.S. trade policy (Braithwaite and Drahos, 2000, Chapter 7). The TRIPS agreement contains certain provisions relating to known trademarks that complement the protection required by Article 6 bis bis of the Paris Convention, which was incorporated by reference to the TRIPS agreement and which requires members to refuse or cancel registration and prohibit the use of a trademark that conflicts with a known trademark. First, the provisions of this section also apply to services. Second, it is necessary to take into account the knowledge acquired in the relevant field of the public, not only through the use of the mark, but also through other means, including as a result of its promotion. In addition, the protection of known trademarks must cover products or services that are not similar to those for which the trademark has been registered, provided that their use indicates a link between those products or services and the owner of the registered trademark and that the interests of the licensee could be affected by such use (Article 16.2 and 3). An agreement reached in 2003 relaxed domestic market requirements and allows developing countries to export to other countries with a public health problem as long as exported drugs are not part of a trade or industrial policy.

[10] Drugs exported under such regulations may be packaged or coloured differently to prevent them from affecting the markets of industrialized countries. Unlike other IP agreements, TRIPS have an effective enforcement mechanism. States can be disciplined by the WTO dispute settlement mechanism. Since the TRIPS agreement came into force, it has been criticized by developing countries, scientists and non-governmental organizations. While some of this criticism is generally opposed to the WTO, many proponents of trade liberalization also view TRIPS policy as a bad policy. The effects of the concentration of WEALTH of TRIPS (money from people in developing countries for copyright and patent holders in industrialized countries) and the imposition of artificial shortages on citizens of countries that would otherwise have had weaker intellectual property laws are common bases for such criticisms. Other critics have focused on the inability of trips trips to accelerate the flow of investment and technology to low-income countries, a benefit that WTO members achieved prior to the creation of the agreement.