The American Chemical Society, whose members will gather in Washington, D.C., next week for the organization's 200th national meeting, is facing several legal attacks against its profitable Chemical Abstract Service. In June, Dialog Information Services, a California-based online information vendor, filed a $50 million suit against the society for "anticompetitive, illegal and predatory" management of CAS databases. The society is also fighting several law suits brought against it by the Columbus (Ohio) Board of Education, which wants to overturn the service's real estate tax exemption.

The Columbus-based CAS, which is the society's largest division, publishes Chemical Abstracts, which since 1907 has printed more than 13 million abstracts and patent equivalents. Virtually all of the world's published chemical knowledge is contained within its pages and related registries, according to the society. Last year the service, with more than 25,000 research institutions as subscribers, generated a profit of more than $4 million...

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