Oral Arguments

Orin Scrivello, take note. We’ve got dentists inflicting extra pain.

On each other, anyway. The Venice Herald-Tribune down in Florida reports that a battle is brewing in Sarasota, with Mitchell Strumpf suing fellow DDS Patricia Sabers. The alleged tooth of crime? Strumpf says the logo Sabers has on a flag outside her practice—a cartoon image of a smiling mouth—has been his for 11 years and is registered as a “service mark” in the state. He says her use of it is costing him business, and wants her to take it down and pay him $15,000 in damages.

“It’s ridiculous,” Sabers complained to the Herald-Tribune. “My flag doesn’t even resemble his smile.”

“If she thinks [it] is so distinct, she should get her own service mark,” Strumpf lawyer Michael Taaffe said.

Sabers says she got the flag from a dental-supply-company catalog, and insists it’s legit since it doesn’t have the “Smiles are our business” tagline that’s part of Strumpf’s service mark.

Though one may choose to find humor in this, Strumpf doesn’t. He says, in fact, that Sabers has laced into him with abusive messages and calls—a charge she denies. “It’s not a laughing matter,” said Taaffe.