• Company Background
  • Dr. Zane Coleman
  • Dr. Coleman's Resumé
  • Publications
  • Issued Patents
  • Patent Applications
  • Press Releases
  • Industry News
  • Chicago Optics News
Company Background

Phostech LLC is a Chicago area limited liability company connected to a network of IP law firms, electrical engineers, and optical component and system suppliers. Founded in 2003 by Dr. Zane Coleman, Phostech has a history of providing patent-related services and innovative optical prototype, testing, and design services to large and small companies. Phostech leverages its network to provide increased value and opportunities to clients around the world.

Innovation & Patent Experience

Dr. Zane Coleman has a long history of innovation leading to numerous patents. From initial patents originating from his doctoral work in physics to pending applications derived from his work with an optical component and system start-up company, he has consistently demonstrated the ability to create and develop new products and innovations. He is a patent agent registered to practice before the U.S. Patent Office and has drafted, filed, and prosecuted patent applications on his inventions in the areas of:

  • LED lighting systems (optics, materials, smart-lighting systems, LED bulbs, and others)
  • Illumination systems (edge-lit, direct-lit, fluorescent, LED, quantum dot, OLED)
  • Display systems (microprojectors, projection screens, LED displays, electrophoretic and bistable displays, LED and CCFL backlights, dual-view displays)
  • Biometric systems
  • Optical films (multi-functional, collimation films, high-efficiency, holographic, diffractive, polarizing)
  • Methods of manufacturing optical components (film extrusion, injection molding, embossing)

Dr. Coleman has directed or participated in many brainstorming sessions that have resulted in numerous patents. He has refined his applied experience in patent strategy gained from his work in large companies, start-up companies, and accredited patent strategy courses.


NOTE: While Dr. Zane Coleman is a registered patent agent, he is not an attorney. References or comments related to legal documents, including contracts, assignments, trademarks, legal opinions, patentability opinions, patent validity, and other legal topics are only provided for information purposes and should not be construed as legal advice. For questions or concerns related to legal topics, it is strongly recommended to consult with an attorney.

                                                            Dr. Zane Coleman                                    (PDF Version)

Optical Consultant and Patent Agent


  • Expertise in LED Lighting, backlights, displays, lightguides, and optical technology
  • Inventor on 87 issued patents
  • Expertise and analytical skills for optical and physical product analysis
  • USPTO Registered Patent Agent


Phostech                              President                                                    2009 – Present

  • Optical consulting, Patent prosecution services
  • Expert reports (5) on infringement and validity rebuttal, depositions (3), Ultravision v. Holophane Europe LTD, Yaham Optoelectronics, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. relating to area lighting fixtures
  • Expert declarations (3) and deposition for Petitioners Technical Consumer Products, Inc., Nicor Inc., Amax Lighting, Inc. in IPR petitions for LSG Corp. LED light fixture patents
  • Expert declarations related to LED light fixtures in Ultravision Technologies, LLC v. Lamar Advertising Co.
  • Submitted declarations for 12 USPTO Inter partes reviews related to backlights and light fixtures
  • Expert declaration, deposition in Morgan Solar, Inc. v. Banyan Energy Inc., USPTO PTAB Interfer No. 105,972
  • Invented backlights, flexible lightguide technology, waveguides, LED bulbs based on waveguides, LED light fixture configurations, concentrating solar collection systems, other illumination devices

Fusion Optix Inc.                  VP Technology & Dir. of Technology         2006-2009

  • Led the research strategy and transfer of technology to product engineering in a fast paced small company providing innovation in the display and LED lighting industries
  • Developed technology roadmaps, intellectual property strategy, & competitive benchmarking
  • Invented more than 35 unique, patentable products and drafted & prosecuted 60+ patent applications
  • Managed and researched optical films, display backlights, LED light fixture, and LED light bulb projects
  • Co-developed the optical system of a Lightfair 2009 Innovation Award-winning light fixture

                                            Manager, Optical Engineering                   2005-2006

  • Developed and prototyped micro-replicated, multi-functional optical films for displays and light fixtures through optical modeling, prototyping, analysis, and specification
  • Designed and managed optical film, LED backlight, and light fixture optical and thermal characterization lab
  • Led polymer based optical film research including production and optical characterization

Phostech                              President                                                   2003-2005

  • Optical design & analysis of diffusing films, refractive-TIR films, displays, LCD backlights, lightguides, illuminated signs, head-up displays, and light fixtures
  • Invented new optical films, light fixtures, projection screens, backlights and displays

Motorola Labs                      Senior Physicist                                        1997-2002

  • Optically designed & constructed world’s first personal micro-projector (US Patent 6,637,896)
  • Designed reflection and transmission micro-structured optical films for LCDs
  • Designed and developed 3 new optical film products with suppliers, including an optical film with 3M which was shipped in over 100 million cellular phones
  • Analyzed thermal and optical properties of products including developing new measurement techniques
  • 4 issued Patents, 26 patent disclosures

ImEdge Technology Inc.       Optical Engineer                                      1993-1997

  • Co-invented new methods for recording edge-lit holograms and edge-lit devices for display and biometric applications (7 issued patents)
  • Modeled, recorded, and performed optical and thermal analysis of optical components and systems


  • Ph.D. in Physics, Loughborough University (UK) 1997
  • Applied rigorous coupled wave diffraction theory to model and analyze recorded edge-lit holograms
  • Thesis: Modern Holographic Recording and Analysis Techniques Applied to Edge-Lit Holograms and their Applications
  • BSc. in Applied Physics, Certificate in Optics, Georgia Institute of Technology (1992)

Zane Coleman's Publications
  1. “Challenges and opportunities for light management optics in LED lighting systems,” LEDs 2008 Conference, San Diego, CA, (2008)
  2. “Optically efficient displays and solid-state lighting systems using anisotropic polymer films,” SID, New England Chapter, Dec. (2006)
  3. “Novel high brightness LED backlight design and optimization,” Mark Chu, Zane Coleman, Kurt Henrickson, Terry Yeo, Americas Display Engineering and Applications Conference, Atlanta, GA (2006)
  4. “Head-mounted displays for visual communication,” Zane Coleman, George Valliath, Motorola Hermes, internal conference (2000)
  5. “LCD glare avoidance using a surface relief diffractive optical element,” Zane Coleman, George Valliath, Motorola Publication via www.IP.com <Download PDF>
  6. “Display optical enhancement films,” Zane Coleman, George Valliath, Robert Akins, Kevin Jelley” Motorola Hermes, internal conference (1999)
  7. “Design of hologram for brightness enhancement in color LCDs,” G.T. Valliath, Z.A. Coleman, J.L. Schindler, R. Polak, R.B. Akins, K.W. Jelley, Society for Information Display ’98, Conference Proceedings Vol. 29, p. 1139, Anaheim, CA (1998) <Download PDF>
  8. “Modern holographic recording and analysis techniques applied to edge-lit holograms and their applications,” Ph.D. in Physics Thesis, Loughborough University, Loughborough, England (1997) <Download PDF>
  9. “Holographic optical element for compact fingerprint imaging system”, M.H. Metz, N. J. Phillips, Z. A. Coleman, C. Flatow, Optical Security and Counterfeit Deterrence Techniques, SPIE Proceedings vol. 2660, San Jose, CA (1996) <Download PDF>
  10. “Holograms in the extreme edge illumination geometry”, Zane A. Coleman, Michael H. Metz, Nicholas J. Phillips, Holographic Materials II, SPIE Proceedings vol. 2688, San Jose, CA (1996) <Download PDF>
  11. “Binary amplitude and holographic recording of light patterns in Du Pont’s photopolymers-some comparisons”, N.J. Phillips, C. Wang, C.A. Barnett, Z. A. Coleman, Holographic Materials, SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2405, San Jose, CA, (1995)
  12. “The use of edge-lit holograms for compact fingerprint capture”, M. Metz, C. Flatow, Z. Coleman, N.J. Phillips, CardTec SecureTec, April 10th, (1995)
  13. “Links between holography and lithography,” Phillips, Nicholas J.; Barnett, Christopher A.; Wang, Ce; Coleman, Zane A., Proc. SPIE Vol. 2333, p. 206-214, Fifth International Symposium on Display Holography, Tung H. Jeong; Ed. (1995) <Download PDF>
  14. “Dichromated gelatin--some heretical comments”, N.J. Phillips, R. D. Rallison, C. A. Barnett, S. R. Schicker, Z. A. Coleman, Practical Holography VII:Imaging Materials, SPIE vol. 1914, pp 101-114 (1993) <Download PDF>
  15. “Novel methods for the creation of silver-free images in holography, using conventional silver halide emulsion”, N.J. Phillips, Z.A. Coleman, C. Wang, Holographic Systems, Components, and Applications, IEE Conf. Publication No 379, Neuchatel, Switzerland (1993) <Download PDF> 
  16. “Holograms in the edge-illuminated geometry-new materials developments”, N.J. Phillips, C. Wang, Z. Coleman, Practical Holography VII:Imaging Materials, SPIE vol. 1914, pp 75-81 (1993) <Download PDF>
Issued Patents (Zane Coleman, Inventor)
  1. 8,249,408 Method of manufacturing an optical composite
  2. 8,233,803 Versatile remote control device and system
  3. 8,231,256 Light fixture comprising a multi-functional non-imaging optical component
  4. 8,177,408 Light filtering directional control element
  5. 8,033,706 Lightguide comprising a low refractive index region
  6. 8,033,674 Optical components and light emitting devices comprising asymmetric scattering domains
  7. 7,991,257 Method of manufacturing an optical composite
  8. 7,914,192 Enhanced light diffusing sheet
  9. 7,784,954 Polarization sensitive light homogenizer
  10. 7,758,227 Light fixture with curved light scattering region comprising ellipsoidal domains
  11. 7,722,224 Illuminating device incorporating a high clarity scattering layer
  12. 7,542,635 Dual illumination anisotropic light emitting device
  13. 7,453,636 High contrast optical path corrected screen
  14. 7,453,635 Imaging material with improved contrast
  15. 7,431,489 Enhanced light fixture
  16. 7,408,707 Multi-region light scattering element
  17. 7,278,775 Enhanced LCD backlight
  18. 7,015,893 Photoluminescent electrophoretic display
  19. 6,861,788 Switchable display/mirror method and apparatus
  20. 6,637,896 Compact projection system and associated device
  21. 6,636,285 Reflective liquid crystal display with improved contrast
  22. 6,151,142 Grazing incidence holograms and system and method for producing the same
  23. 6,061,463 Holographic fingerprint device
  24. 5,986,746 Topographical object detection system
  25. 5,974,162 Device for forming and detecting fingerprint images with valley and ridge structure
  26. 5,822,089 Grazing incidence holograms and system and method for producing the same
  27. 5,710,645 Grazing incidence holograms and system and method for producing the same
  28. EP 0749610 Compact device for producing an image of the topological surface


US Patent Application Publications (Zane Coleman, Inventor)
  1. 20110286222 Method of manufacturing an optical composite
  2. 20110277361 Sign comprising a film-based lightguide
  3. 20110273906 Front illumination device comprising a film-based lightguide
  4. 20110255303 Illumination device comprising a film-based lightguide
  5. 20110227487 Light emitting display with light mixing within a film
  6. 20110013420 Light emitting devices and applications thereof
  7. 20100321953 Light emitting devices and applications thereof
  8. 20100321952 Light emitting devices and applications thereof
  9. 20080094854 Dual illumination anisotropic light emitting device
  10. 20080043490 Enhanced Light Guide
  11. 20070201246 Enhanced Light Diffusing Sheet
  12. 20060290253 Enhanced Diffusing Plates, Films and Backlights
  13. 20060227546 Enhanced light fixture
  14. 20060215958 Enhanced electroluminescent sign
  15. 20060066945 High contrast optical path corrected screen
  16. 20060056166 Enhanced LCD backlight
  17. 20060056022 Imaging material wih improved contrast
  18. 20060056021 Multi-region light scattering element
  19. 20050259302 Holographic light panels and flat panel display systems and method and apparatus for making same
  20. 20040245902 Switchable display/mirror method and apparatus
  21. 20040151491 Apparatus and method concerning a passive multi-indicia visual position indicator
  22. 20040150613 Photoluminescent electrophoretic display
  23. 20030081184 Compact projection system and associated device
  24. 20030081154 Reflective liquid crystal display with improved contrast
  25. 20030020975 Holographic light panels and flat panel display systems and method and apparatus for making same
  26. 20020001110 Holographic light panels and flat panel display systems and method and apparatus for making same


Press Releases

Coming Soon!

Latest Industry News
Dr. Zane Coleman to present at Heartland Angels' LED Lighting Panel, June 24th in Chicago

Dr. Zane Coleman, President of Phostech LLC, will present the current status of LED Lighting technology and what the future holds for next generation lighting products at Heartland Angels' " LEDs: What They Are and Why They Are Important!" panel on June 24, 2010. The panel members will discuss LED technology from a scientific, legal and commercial standpoint. Dr. Coleman will be joined by a panel members Robert Irvine, III, J.D., partner at McDonnell, Boehnen, Hulbert & Berghoff, Chick Huber, Vice President Business Development for Lynk Labs, Inc, and Sean Callahan, President of Ilight Technologies. The panel will be moderated by Ronald Kirschner, M.D., President Heartland Angels, Inc., a Chicago based, early-stage private equity capital investment network and is part of an on-going series highlighting technology in the Midwest.

The program will be hosted by McDonnell, Boehnen, Hulbert & Berghoff, LLP at its corporate headquarters at 300 S. Wacker. Space is limited and pre-registration is required by security by 12 noon, June 24, 2010. Attendance sign-in will begin at 6:00 PM with the presentation starting at 6:30 PM and will include a question and answer period. There will be a $10 charge payable (cash or check only) at sign-in time. Registration and inquiries by e-mail only to:

Next Generation Luminaire Winners Announced at 2010 Strategies in Light

CREE's impressive LR6-D1000
Light Output: 1020 lumens
Power: 11.9 watts
Efficacy: 85.7 lm/W
CCT: 2701K CRI: 92
(All Certified Measurements)

Forty-seven commercial LED lighting products – more than double last year’s total – were recognized for excellence by the second annual Next Generation Luminaires (NGL) Solid State Lighting (SSL) Design Competition, it was announced today. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, and the International Association of Lighting Designers, the NGL competition was launched in 2008 to promote excellence in the design of energy-efficient LED luminaires for general illumination in commercial lighting applications.

In its first year, the competition recognized 22 products from among a total of 68 entries. In 2009, as the number of commercial LED lighting products on the market increased, the number of NGL entries nearly doubled – to 126, coming from 60 different lighting companies. Of these entries, 43 were chosen as “recognized” winners and four of were chosen as “best in class.”

For more information please see the Next Generation Luminaires Website.

Energy Center of Wisconsin hosts LED Lighting Webinar March 10


SSL/LED lighting can significantly reduce energy consumption and costs. Technology advancements have increased the versatility and durability of the lamps and improved the fixtures contributing to their expanding applicability. SSL is a vital lighting design tool. As LED lighting becomes more mainstream, it is important for those who specify lighting products and users to understand the technology, its uses and pitfalls.

Not all LEDs are built the same. The SSL label on luminaires is no guarantee that an SSL product will perform well in every application. This program will help viewers understand the technology, analyze manufacturer's claims and accurately specify fixtures and lamps.

The instructor will focus on cost of light criteria including energy costs, power consumption, labor costs, lamp costs, lifetime expectancy and light output. Viewers will be given guidance on questions to ask to ensure they're selecting a quality product, how to evaluate the suitability of an SSL for a given application and how to decipher warranty claims.



  1. Introduction to LED
  2. Lumen information
  3. DOE information
  4. Choosing a quality LED
  5. LED requirements
  6. New lighting products

Continuing Education Credit: 1 (AIA / NCQLP / USGBC)

Cost: $49


For more information please see the Energy Center's Website.

DOE Webcast: LEDs for Interior Office Applications March 18

Webcast: LEDs for Interior Office Applications

March 18, 2010

10:00 - 11:30 a.m. PT; 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. ET

Speakers:  Jason Tuenge and Michael Myer, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

There is growing interest in using LED lighting for interior office applications, but do LED lighting solutions offer comparable performance to the products they are intended to replace? In this webcast, speakers Jason Tuenge and Michael Myer from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will examine the current status of LED 2x2 and 2x4 luminaires, as well as LED replacements for linear fluorescent lamps. Drawing on results and trends revealed through the latest rounds of DOE CALiPER testing, the speakers will discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and economics of using LEDs in office settings.

The webcast will include a 60-minute presentation, followed by a 30-minute live question and answer session with attendees.


For more information please see the Department of Energy's Website.

Chicago Optics News
Tour of Norlux (Custom LED lighting solutions)Tues. Nov. 1, 2011

LED Lighting Tour and Networking Dinner

The Optical Society of Chicago has announced a tour of Norlux in their 12,000 sq. ft. Carol Stream facility on Nov. 1, 2011 from 7pm to 9pm. Norlux is a premier company in North America specializing in the design and manufacture of custom light emitting diode (LED) lighting solutions. A signed NDA is required for the tour. A pre-tour networking dinner at Augustino's Rock and Roll Deli will be from 5:30-6:45 and is less than a mile from the Norlux facility. For more information, please download this pdf.

Imaging Technology Talk, Dr. William Rhodes, Thurs. March 3, 2011, Des Plaines

Imaging Technology Lecture

The Optical Society of Chicago will be hosting a lecture on "Four Centuries of Imaging Technology" on Thursday March 3, 2011 at 7pm at the Des Plaines Public Library. The speaker will be Dr. William T. Rhodes, Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Professor of Computer & Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Florida Atlantic University, where he heads the Imaging Technology Center. Dr. Rhodes will discuss imaging technologies past and present, including his latest research on high-resolution imaging through atmospheric turbulence. There is no fee to attend and there will be a pre-lecture pay for your own dinner social at the Mexico Restaurant, within walking distance of the Des Plaines Library where the lecture will be held. Please download this pdf for more information.

Optical Lens Fabrication Tour Saturday Oct. 23, 2010

Free Tour at Kreischer Optics, Ltd

Kreischer Optics 16,000+ square foot facility

The Optical Society of Chicago announces a tour of Kreischer Optics, Ltd., on October 23, 2010 at 10am. Come learn about fabrication of spherical and aspheric lenses using the latest polishing technologies. Join the discussion of lens design considerations using optical design software. Kreischer Optics is located at 1729 Oak Drive, McHenry, IL 60050. OSA membership not required. Reservations are required. Please download this pdf for more information.

Optical Properties of Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene Talk at Univ. of Chicago May 10th

"Optical Properties of Carbon Nanotubes and Single Sheet Graphene"

Professor Louis Brus: Columbia University

This event is open to the public.

When: Monday, May 10, 2010 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Where: Kent Chemical Laboratory, Room 120
1020 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL
Host: Steve Sibener (2-7193)

For more information please see the Univ. of Chicago Website.

"Are Carbon Nanotubes Useful Optical Materials?" Talk at NW on March 17th

"Are Carbon Nanotubes Useful Optical Materials?"

Frontiers in Nanotechnology Seminar Series
Todd Krauss, University of Rochester
March 17, 2010
3:45pm - 5:00pm
Host: Emily Weiss
Pancoe ENH - Abbott Auditorium
2200 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL

For more information please see the International Institute for Nanotechnology Website.

'Broadband plasmonics' Research at Northwestern

'Broadband plasmonics' makes its debut

Illustration of a Photonic Crystal

Researchers at Northwestern University in the US have used a technique called soft interference lithography to produce high-quality periodic metallic nanostructures whose symmetry can be tailored at will. The 2D plasmonic crystals produced are promising for applications such as thin-film photovoltaics, light-emitting devices and optical switches.

For more information please see the Optics.Org article.