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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Silicon Valley Optical Technologies

Lumicon Brand Astronomy Filters

Silicon Valley Optical technologies became the exclusive manufacturer of Lumicon brand astronomy filters in late 2014, after the previous manufacturer shut down their astronomy filter production. Lumicon LLC contacted SVOTek to have several iteration filter sample development, SVOTek's filters were qualified by Lumicon LLC. After first article evaluation, SVOTek was contracted to be the exclusive manufacturer of Lumicon Brand astronomy filters. We delivered in excess of 1000 filters until mid- 2016, when multiple purchase orders, along with a small loan to Lumicon LLC went unpaid. Lumicon faced financial issues, and soon let their Lumicon LLC trademark expire. SVOTek has worked to obtain this trademark, while pursuing legal action against the previous owners of Lumicon LLC.  

Silicon Valley Optics is pleased to announce we are in the process of obtaining the Lumicon trademark, and we look forward to the continuation of world-class astronomy filters, produced responsibly in Fremont, CA U.S.A.

Silicon Valley Optical Technologies has been lucky enough to have an independent astronomy group in Poland publish an independent review of our Lumicon astronomy filters. The entirety of their review can be seen on their astronomy forum

Polish SVOTek review]

“…If I were to buy a new UHC filter now, it would be SVOTek’s.”

(Translated from Polish)

Within this legal whirlwind, another company attempted to claim the Lumicon trademark, with no prior filter manufacturing experience. Owned by Cary Chleborad, Optical Structures Inc. also filed legal action against Lumicon for unpaid products. O.S.I manufactures custom mechanical parts for astronomy equipment, and in this case, manufactured mounting rings for Lumicon astronomy filters. His company has attempted to defame us on various astronomy forums, as Cary is very active on many. Below is his post on CloudyNights, and our official response in PDF form.

[Cary's Post]

[SVOTek Response]

Due to O.S.I’s attempt to claim the Lumicon trademark, we refused multiple offers for our filters from them (See at the end for PO’s & emails). With a lack of other quality optical coating manufacturers, Cary Chleborad let us know that he would be looking for cheaper options in China. Below, a truncated version of his email is attached, stating he would go to China and purchase low quality filters and simply send out the best, since O.S.I lacks the equipment and experience to produce the filters in house.

[Cary's Email]

However, O.S.I. was also lucky enough to have the independent astronomy group in Poland publish a review of their filters to their astromaniak forum. The results are not surprising, given the sources of the filters and the experience of the O.S.I. group. The review can be seen below.

[Polish O.S.I. Review]

"From my point of view, these filters are not Lumicon filters, they may resemble Lumicon and bear its name but the similarities end here."

(Translated from Polish)


Lastly, for anyone seriously questioning the legal standing of SVOTek, Lumicon LLC and O.S.I. / Cary Chleborad, public legal documentation of the process is linked below for your convenience.

[Letter to Cary Chleborad]

[SVOTek vs Lumicon LLC Rev 1]

[SVOTek vs Lumicon LLC Rev 2]

[SVOTek vs Lumicon LLC Rev3]

[OSI P.O.]


SVOTek has proudly been in the coating business since 2000 under the name Hoya Optics USA, and rebranded in 2004 to Silicon Valley Optical Technologies. We at SVOTek look forward to producing world-class astronomy filters in-house to continue the Lumicon astronomy filter line with the same great quality and service people have come to expect of the brand. We also hope to hear community feedback on what filters, lenses, and equipment our customers need and want to let them explore the night sky.