January 27, 1970, James M. Schlatter received a patent for “Peptide Sweetening Agents” (U.S. No. 3,492,131), an invention which eventually led led to the marketing of aspartame under the name NutraSweet. The patent was filed 18 Apr 1966, assigned to his employer, G.D. Searle & Co. In Dec 1965, a few months before filing, he had accidentally discovered the first example of such compounds. To pick up a paper, he had licked his finger. He tasted an unexpectedly sweet trace of a substance that had, he realized, earlier splashed onto the outside of a flask he had handled. It contained L-aspartyl-L-phenylalnine methyl ester. After development and much scrutiny of the testing of aspartame, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it with many permitted uses as a food sweetener. September 2014 NutraSweet announced it will no longer make the artificial sweetener aspartame and instead concentrate on more profitable sweeteners.