This article critically analyses the effects of differing bargaining powers between developed and developing countries during international negotiations on intellectual property (IP) rights. While developed countries with stronger bargaining power have the capacity to shape the international IP law in accordance with their interests, developing states are not powerless. Developing countries can gain some concessions by forming coalitions. Additionally, they can achieve their goals by means of a “paradox of weakness”, a concept derived from international conflict resolution. The article elaborates how the paradox is applied in the context of adoption and implementation of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) 1994.