The Legacy of Lumicon Inc. - Original and Authentic Supplier of Astronomy Filters

Lumicon was founded in the late 1970s by Dr. Jack Marling, an astrophysicist at Livermore National Laboratories. Passionate about astronomy, Dr. Marling used his background to create filters used to observe nebulae and planets; soon thereafter, he discovered a need in the market for his filters and eventually founded Lumicon to begin selling them.

The company quickly gained recognition for its innovative product line. Lumicon’s products included a wide range of astronomical filters designed for various celestial observations. These filters included narrowband filters for nebulae, broadband filters for reducing light pollution, and other specialized optical elements. In addition to filters, Lumicon produced eyepieces, telescope accessories, and adaptors. Their products were celebrated for their optical quality and functionality.

Around the late 80s/early 90s, Lumicon had a change in ownership. Its second owner, Dr. Maurice Sweiss, had a Ph.D. in Physics from UCLA; he founded Park Optical, a company that sold telescope accessories. Dr. Sweiss saw the Lumicon acquisition as an opportunity to expand his product line and sell astronomy filters. Afterward, Lumicon quickly rose to prominence under the visionary leadership of Dr. Sweiss, scaling to more than fifteen brick-and-mortar stores across the United States located in large cities.

However, Lumicon faced a series of challenges in the 2000s. The rise of online commerce led to financial difficulties as traditional brick-and-mortar stores became less prevalent. During this tumultuous time, Lumicon’s manufacturer, Barr Associates, was acquired by Materion. Materion deemed the Lumicon product line to be insufficiently profitable and unfortunately discontinued their manufacturing agreement.

Dr. Sweiss then turned to other companies to build Lumicon’s products. SVOTek, run by Dr. John Gao, is a 20-year-old optics coating company located in the San Francisco Bay Area. They became the new OEM manufacturer for producing Lumicon’s astronomical filters. Optical Structures, run by Cary Chleborad, was a machine shop located in Rancho Cordova and produced only the metal rings to hold Lumicon filters.

Around 2014, Dr. Maurice Sweiss grappled with both financial struggles and health issues, forcing him to sell Lumicon to his long-time assistant, Deborah Neveaux, at a price well below its true value. Under Deborah’s leadership, Lumicon signed a $1M+ contract with SVOTek to produce filters from 2014-2016. For several years, SVOTek produced thousands of filters for Lumicon, yet Deborah defaulted on their payments to SVOTek as well as Optical Structures.

As Lumicon’s financial troubles mounted, both SVOTek and Optical Structures filed lawsuits, pursuing ownership of the Lumicon brand and trademark. In a complex turn of events, Chleborad attempted to steal the Lumicon trademark by attempting to quietly strike a deal with Neveaux. However, Dr. Sweiss stepped in and prevented the sale; the deal ultimately fell through.

Dr. Gao then worked closely with Dr. Sweiss to reclaim control of the Lumicon brand and trademark. Dr. Sweiss’s vision was to restore Lumicon to its former glory, as it had been during the 1990s. SVOTek successfully won the trademark and official Lumicon brand, and Dr. Sweiss played an instrumental role in reapplying the Lumicon trademark and transitioning it to SVOTek.

Amid these challenges, Chleborad falsely claimed ownership of Lumicon and intentionally spread misinformation regarding SVOTek’s rightful ownership of the Lumicon trademark. Among these claims were that Optical Structures produced Lumicon’s filters and is their OEM manufacturer. This is blatantly untrue, and SVOTek plans to take legal action against Chleborad for trademark infringement among multiple other offenses. Further, Chleborad does not have the capabilities to produce such filters; Optical Structures is fundamentally a machine shop and does not have the machinery nor expertise to produce Lumicon’s world-class filters.

Despite these obstacles, Dr. Gao remained committed to the mission, working with Dr. Sweiss to rebuild Lumicon. Though due to health reasons, Dr. Sweiss withdrew from the scene before he could fully realize his vision, leaving Dr. Gao and SVOTek to carry forward his legacy.

Today, SVOTek stands as the rightful owner and OEM for Lumicon, its products, and its trademark, as demonstrated by the official Lumicon trademark: US Serial No. 87470828. SVOTek is the last, original OEM manufacturer for Lumicon. The Lumicon brand continues to endure and evolve, a testament to the dedication and resilience of those who have been part of its remarkable journey.

Here is the License Certificate of Lumicon Inc. that was issued by the United States of America