An Example of a Well-Planned and Run Single Topic Conference

Eric Goldman and Santa Clara University School of Law just conducted Trademark Dilution: Theoretical and Empirical Inquiries. Rebecca Tushnet has posted summaries of the proceedings at her blog and one can see the substance of the talks there. What impressed me was that the conference brought in a range of views and had little redundancy despite the single topic approach. Indeed, with academics (from law and other disciplines) and practitioners offering views and counterviews the picture of the impact of new legislation, the history of the doctrine, the theoretical foundations of the doctrine, and the way that business views the area of the law was rather full. In addition, the panel topic selection and the strict adherence to time (enough to present but still have questions) allowed for a good exploration of ideas. None of this post suggests that other conferences with simultaneous panels are bad. Rather, the well-executed, single topic conference offers the possibility of reflection on a topic for a whole day. The danger in either format is dead panels. In a single topic format that danger seems higher. Still, Prof. Goldman and the staff of Santa Clara’s High Tech Law Institute did a great job avoiding that possibility and put on an informative, great conference.

Cross-posted at Concurring Opinions.