Patent Protection The TRIPS agreement requires WTO members to protect WTO members for a minimum of 20 years from the date of filing a patent application for each invention, including a pharmaceutical product or process. Prior to the TRIPS agreement, patent duration was much shorter in many countries. For example, both developed and developing countries have patent terms of 15 to 17 years, while in some developing countries patents have been granted for shorter terms of 5 to 7 years. The TRIPS agreement also requires countries to grant patent protection to both processes and products in all areas of technology. The 2002 Doha Declaration confirmed that the TRIPS agreement should not prevent members from taking the necessary steps to protect public health. Despite this recognition, less developed countries have argued that flexible TRIPS provisions, such as mandatory licensing, are almost impossible to obtain. The least developed countries, in particular, have made their young domestic manufacturing and technological industries proof of the infallible policy. The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the international organization that deals with trade rules between nations. Since February 2005, 148 countries have been members of the WTO. Countries are committed to complying with the 18 specific agreements attached to the WTO agreement. They cannot choose to be proponents of certain agreements, but not others (with the exception of some "multilateral" agreements that are not mandatory). The introduction of temporary protection of industrial property rights against the granting of protection is one example of raising the level of protection; Extending the patent term to compensate for delays in granting product marketing authorization; or extending the scope of patentability and/or trademark registration beyond the minimum requirements set out in Articles 27 and 15 of the TRIPS agreement.
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.