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.  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. Intellectual property trade, commonly known as TRIPS, is a multilateral agreement within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that came into force in 1994. This was the first such agreement that treated intellectual property rights, particularly copyright and patents, as a global trade issue, with the theory that one country`s inability to protect another`s intellectual property creates an obstacle to trade between these countries. However, the definition of intellectual property as a trade issue was inspired by access to established WTO enforcement mechanisms, which can authorize the application of trade sanctions against countries that do not meet agreed standards. 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. The World Bank`s statements indicate that TRIPS have clearly not accelerated investment in low-income countries, whereas they may have done so for middle-income countries.  As part of TRIPS, long periods of patent validity were examined to determine the excessive slowdown in generic drug entry and competition.