[i] The main agreements – the Paris and Berne Conventions of 1883 and 1886 respectively – were incorporated into the TRIPS agreement, as well as parts of the 1961 Rome Agreement and the 1989 Washington Treaty (WTO, 2011). In addition to the basic intellectual property standards set out in the TRIPS agreement, many nations have committed to bilateral agreements to adopt a higher level of protection. This collection of standards, known as TRIPS or TRIPS-Plus, can take many forms.  One of the general objectives of these agreements is that the TRIPS agreement has for the first time integrated intellectual property law into the multilateral trading system and remains the most comprehensive multilateral IP agreement to date. In 2001, developing countries, fearing that developed countries had insisted on too narrow a reading of the TRIPS trip, launched a series of discussions that culminated in the Doha Declaration. The Doha Declaration is a WTO DECLARATION that clarifies the scope of the TRIPS agreement, which states, for example, that TRIPS can and should be interpreted in light of the objective of “promoting access to medicines for all”. Another advantage inherent in the TRIPS agreement is the “flexibility” offered to all members in interpreting various sections of the agreement (Vandoren, 2001). Article 27.3, for example, allows members to exclude certain inventions and objects from patentability, and allows the protection of others – such as plant varieties – through compatible sui generis systems. The Doha Declaration reiterated that developing countries have the right to issue compulsory licences or to authorize parallel importation of medicines under Article 31 to deal with “national emergencies or other extreme emergencies” – and that public health crises such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and other epidemics can be declared as such (WTO, 2001). While pressure from the chemical, pharmaceutical and entertainment industries led to a “quiet revolution” from the 1970s in strengthening the protection of intellectual property authorities in the United States, corporate lobbyists have also tried to take the issue to the global level (Archibugi- Filippetti, 2010). U.S. government policymakers, concerned about the country`s trade deficit and loss of competitiveness, have become increasingly sensitive to their arguments. International intellectual property rights based on protection and exclusion, not competition and dissemination, have therefore been promoted as a means of preserving a comparative advantage in emerging knowledge and high-tech sectors of the global economy.
Business groups have succeeded in putting intellectual property protection on the agenda of the Uruguay Round and – by asserting unparalleled expertise on the “technical” issues of intellectual and intellectual protection legislation – have succeeded in playing a key role in the development of the terms of the agreement (Matthews, 2002: 7-28). Trips-plus conditions, which impose standards beyond TRIPS, have also been verified.  These free trade agreements contain conditions that limit the ability of governments to introduce competition for generic drug manufacturers. In particular, the United States has been criticized for promoting protection far beyond the standards prescribed by the TRIPS.