Committee on Patents and Related Matters

The Committee on Patents and Related Matters (“CPRM”) is a joint Board – Council Committee. Both the Board and the Council call upon CPRM to study and make recommendations on matters of importance to the ACS. Intellectual property rights are an integral component to innovation. In turn, innovation has been a major component to the health and growth of the U.S. chemical enterprise.

CPRM focuses on three main areas: educating ACS members about intellectual property issues important to the chemical enterprise; nominating chemists for national awards to recognize the innovations and contributions to society of chemists; and monitoring legislative and regulatory developments influencing intellectual property. CPRM serves as an important part of the ACS Strategic Plan

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CPRM closely monitors proposed changes in intellectual property law analyzes how these proposed changes would impact ACS members and the chemical enterprise.

The Patent Committee Helps Increase Recognition for Chemists and Chemical Professionals

CPRM seeks to highlight and acknowledge the intellectual property contributions of chemists and others working in the chemical enterprise. To this end, CPRM recommends nominations chemists for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the National Inventors Hall of Fame , and the National Women’s Hall of Fame . To suggest someone for these honors, please email the CPRM staff liaison, David T. Smorodin.

Recently, the National Women’s Hall of Fame honored Dr. Helen Free.

Here are some of the other memorable chemical professionals recognized by these organizations:

  • Arnold O. Beckman – invented a pH meter for measuring acidity and alkalinity and the quartz spectrophotometer, an instrument which pioneered automatic chemical analysis.
  • Ruth Benerito – developed wrinkle free cotton fabrics through partial Esterification.
  • Lloyd H. Conover – invented the antibiotic tetracycline, which became the most prescribed broad spectrum antibiotic in the United States within three years and remains the drug of choice for a number of serious bacterial infections.
  • Gertrude Belle Elion – invented the leukemia-fighting drug 6-mercaptopurine and drugs that facilitated kidney transplants.
  • Edith Flanigen - developed molecular sieves; these compounds can be used to purify and separate complex mixtures and catalyze or speed the rate of hydrocarbon reactions, and have widespread application in the petroleum refining and petrochemical industries.
  • Helen and Alfred Free - for their joint contributions to diagnostic chemistry through development of dip-and-read urinalysis, which gave rise to a technological revolution in convenient, reliable, point-of-care tests and patient self-monitoring.
  • Lloyd Hall – revolutionized the food industry through his development of sterilizing preservatives.
  • Elizabeth Lee Hazen and Rachel Fuller Brown – co-developers of Nystatin, the world’s first useful antifungal antibiotic, Nystatin.
  • Percy L. Julian – synthesized physostigmine for treatment of glaucoma and cortisone for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Stephanie Kwolek – pioneering work in polymer science led to the development of Kevlar.
  • Irving Langmuir – invented the high-vacuum electron tube and the gas-filled incandescent lamp.
  • Lewis Latimer – the son of former slaves, he invented a method for producing a more durable carbon filament, making incandescent lighting practical and affordable.
  • Thomas Midgley – former ACS president and Board chair, developed anti-knock gasoline
  • Kary Mullis – devised the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), revolutionizing DNA technology. PCR amplifies specific DNA sequences from very small amounts of complex genetic material.
  • Lewis Hastings Sarett – prepared a synthetic version of the hormone cortisone, which was soon demonstrated as an effective treatment against rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Glenn Seaborg – former ACS president and central figure in the Manhattan Project, synthesised and isolated the radioactive element plutonium.
  • Esther Takeuchi – developed silver vanadium oxide battery that powers the majority of the world's lifesaving implantable cardiac defibrillators, and her innovations in other medical battery technologies that improve the health and quality of life of millions of people.
  • Samuel Smith and Patsy Sherman – co-inventors of Scotchgard,™ one of the most widely used and valuable products in stain repellency and soil removal.
  • Selman Waksman – discovered Streptomycin, a powerful and effective antibiotic.
  • Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation – for its support of the cycle of innovation, from research to invention to investment, by supporting faculty and student research at the University of Wisconsin and pioneering the transfer of university ideas to U.S. businesses.
  • Field Winslow – developed polymer cable sheath, helping to make universal telephone service possible.
  • Ronald J. Eby, Maya Koster, Dace Viceps Madore, Velupillai Puvanesarajah - development and commercialization of Prevnar, the first-ever vaccine to prevent the deadly and disabling consequences of Streptococcus pneumoniae infections in children.