From a new article on the TRIPS Agreement:
Central to the controversies surrounding the TRIPS Agreement has been the ever-enigmatic determination of how far TRIPS should reach in regulating intellectual property rights. As the name of the Agreement explicitly indicates, the TRIPS Agreement is meant to regulate only those aspects of intellectual property rights that are “trade-related.” Scholars have noted a disconnect between the scope of obligations under TRIPS—unprecedented for a trade agreement—and the “trade-related” limitation in the agreement’s title. Indeed, some have opined that the supposed limitation was meaningless from the start. Commentators have accused the Agreement of exceeding the purported limitations in scope embodied in its title.
I'm firmly in the "meaningless from the start" camp. To take an example, how exactly does the choice of, say, a 10, 15, or 20 year patent term (or some other length) relate to trade? Of course, it may affect trade to some extent, but so does every policy, so it's not clear that tells us anything.