Dunkin’ Brands Inc. embarked on a growth program in Central Ohio last year, but its area profile may shrink depending on the outcome of a legal fight between the doughnut-and-coffee king and a franchisee.

Affiliates of the Canton, Mass.-based chain filed a lawsuit April 28 in U.S. District Court in Columbus against Jay Ambe Ltd. and Duttguru Corp., the franchisees of dual-brand Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins shops at 2255 E. Dublin Granville Road and 1111 N. Hamilton Road. Both companies are owned by Amrutlal Patel, and Dunkin’ Donuts is asking the court to terminate his franchise agreements and award it damages.

The company is alleging breach of settlement, breach of franchisee agreements and trademark infringement.

Dunkin’ Brands spokesman Steve Caldeira said in an e-mail to Columbus Business First that Patel was sued after he allegedly transferred franchise ownership without authorization.

Columbus Business First Journal