The most attractive aspect of process patents is that they are at the heart of what capitalism stands for: competition, efficiency and profitability; Nevertheless, when applied in the right way, they can be extremely beneficial for patients in developing countries. Most research-based pharmaceutical companies would probably disagree with this view and argue that a process patent provides little incentive to invest in risky research, given that another company may simply recycle a drug to find another method of manufacturing the product, thus circumventing the process patent. However, process patents in this situation may prove acceptable to research pharmaceutical companies and improve public health in developing areas. Compulsory licences and the use by the State of a patent without the authorisation of its proprietor may be granted only under a number of conditions aimed at protecting the legitimate interests of the patent proprietor. They therefore adopted a separate declaration on TRIPS and public health. They agreed that the TRIPS Agreement does not prevent Members from doing so and should not prevent them from taking measures to protect public health. They highlighted the ability of countries to make use of the flexibilities built into the TRIPS Agreement, including compulsory licensing and parallel imports. And they agreed to extend until 2016 the derogations from the protection of pharmaceutical patents for the least developed countries. Parallel or grey imports are not imports of counterfeit products or illegal copies. These are products marketed in one country by the patent owner (or trademark or copyright owners, etc.) or with the permission of the patent owner and imported into another country without the agreement of the patent owner. The TRIPS Agreement introduced intellectual property rights into the multilateral trading system for the first time and remains the most comprehensive multilateral agreement on intellectual property to date. In 2001, developing countries, concerned about the industrialized countries` insistence on an overly narrow interpretation of TRIPS, launched a round table that resulted in the Doha Declaration.
The Doha Declaration is a WTO declaration that clarifies the scope of TRIPS and, for example, states that TRIPS can and should be interpreted with the aim of „promoting access to medicines for all“. Process patents offer a lower standard of intellectual property protection, thereby promoting competition, which, in turn, reduces market prices. When a product is patented through a process, it encourages competing companies to invest in research to develop a method to produce the product in question more efficiently than the current standard. If the new method is not more efficient and less expensive, the developing company would not be able to commercialize the product, because the product, more effective and cheaper, would be favored by consumers (and third world governments). Therefore, a process patent inherently promotes the development of the most efficient and least expensive method of manufacturing the patented product, which theoretically leads to lower prices. The TRIPS Agreement provides for transitional periods that will give developing countries additional time to bring national laws and practices into line with TRIPS provisions. There are three main transit times. The first was the transitional period 1995-2000, at the end of which countries were required to implement the TRIPS Agreement. The transition period 2000-2005 allowed some countries to delay the availability of patent protection in areas of technology that were not as protected at the time of the entry into force of the TRIPS Agreement in that country.
These countries were given an additional five years to establish a product patent regime for technologies and products that they had not previously protected by patents, such as pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. .