SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Crumbl and Dirty Dough appeared in court Friday after Crumbl filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Dirty Dough earlier this year. They claimed Dirty Dough copied “trade secrets,” including recipes and cookie calendars, according to court documents.
On Friday, Aug. 11, U.S. District Judge Howard C. Nielson Jr. denied Crumbl’s motion for a preliminary injunction, according to court documents. The preliminary injunction would have required Dirty Dough to return its trade secrets, according to court documents.
According to Judge Nielson, Crumbl has not demonstrated that Dirty Dough copied or incorporated Crumbl information into its recipes, processes, or business model.
“To the contrary … the evidence shows that Dirty Dough’s recipes, processes, and business model all differ substantially from Crumbl’s,” he said. Nielson said that the evidence submitted does not prove that Crumbl’s information was even particularly helpful.
However, at the conclusion of the hearing, an order was given requiring Dirty Dough to return to Crumbl all copies or derivatives of the “Crumble Information,” including notes, memoranda, summaries, or compilations that contain information derived from Crumbl.
Crumbl argued that Dirty Dough’s rapid growth was because it was using Crumbl’s information, but “even if Crumbl’s explanation for Dirty Dough’s rapid success is possible, Crumbl has not demonstrated that it is probable, or even likely,” Nielson said.
While Crumbl has received “much of the relief” they initially requested in the order to Dirty Dough, they were not granted a preliminary injunction. This means that Dirty Dough can continue to make and sell cookies.
Bennet Maxwell, the founder of Dirty Dough, said that the lawsuit has “always been about a greedy billion-dollar company suing multiple start-ups for making cookies in an attempt to stifle competition.”
Maxwell hopes Crumbl will stop suing more cookie companies “due to the shape of their box or use of sprinkles on cookies.”
Crumbl and Dirty Dough are competitors in the gourmet cookie market. Both companies run retail cookie stores and have expanded by selling franchises across the U.S., according to court documents.
However, the two reportedly differ in business models — Dirty Dough makes its dough at a controlled facility while Crumbl makes it on-site. Additionally, Crumbl’s cookies typically contain one type of dough with a layer of frosting while Dirty Dough’s are usually made with layers of different kinds of dough and no frosting, according to court documents.