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Judge temporarily blocks Martha Stewart Living from selling at J.C. Penney

Macy’s sued the company over claims it has exclusive contract

One point for Macy’s in its ongoing battle with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO).

A state judge has temporarily blocked MSLO from selling some of its products at J.C. Penney stores. When the media and merchandising company announced it had entered into an agreement with J.C. Penney late last year, Macy’s sued MSLO for breach of contract.

According to the suit, filed in N.Y. Supreme Court, in 2006 Macy’s entered into an agreement with Martha Stewart Living that granted the department store exclusive rights to manufacture and sell certain products. But in December 2011, after taking a large stake in Martha Stewart Living, J.C. Penney announced it would start selling Martha Stewart Living products in 2013.

When N.Y. State Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Oing issued his preliminary injunction last week, he said Macy’s showed it was likely to succeed in its suit.

"The scale tilts in favor of Macy's," he wrote, adding that MSLO selling Martha Stewart Living products in J.C. Penney stores takes away from Macy’s competitive edge. Justice Oing also pointed out that Macy’s played a role in helping resurrect Martha Stewart’s image after she was found guilty of lying about her role in the ImClone insider trading incident.   

"Macy's took on the risk with MSLO after Martha Stewart left prison," he said.

Read more about the most recent development in this case on Thomson Reuters.

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Cathleen Flahardy

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