A common market is the first step towards a single market and may, initially, be limited to a free trade area. The Uruguay Round, held from 1986 to 1993 and culminating in the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), also broadened the topics for discussion, including intellectual property. At the end of the Uruguay round, members signed the agreement on aspects of intellectual property rights that affect trade, commonly known as “TRIPS”. TRIPS has forced its members to harmonize some important elements of their patent, copyright and trademark laws. In the United States, Congress had to amend patent laws (which apply only to applications that came into effect on June 5, 1995), the most important of which were: (a) the calculation of patent duration; and b) the publication of pending patent applications. As tariffs have decreased, non-tariff barriers (NTBs) have attracted increasing attention, as they are as distorting trade as flat-rate tariffs. Non-tariff barriers consist of a series of rules, standards, standards, technical issues, administrative and bureaucratic procedures and other market-related barriers faced by exporters while trying to access a given market. The WTO is trying to highlight this area through a policy of transparency and information, but also by restrictions on the use of non-tariff barriers. The Uruguay cycle began in 1986.
It was the most ambitious cycle to date that hoped to extend GATT`s jurisdiction to important new areas such as services, capital, intellectual property, textiles and agriculture. 123 countries participated in the cycle. The Uruguay Round was also the first round of multilateral trade negotiations in which developing countries played an active role.  During the Great Depression, the collapse of international relations and increased trade regulation exacerbated poor economic conditions and contributed to the outbreak of World War II. After the war, the Allies believed that a multilateral framework for world trade would soften the protectionist policy that defined the 1930s and create economic interdependence that would foster partnership and reduce the risk of conflict.