J.C. Penney Co. announced that it will comply with a court order and hold off on selling any Martha Stewart Living products in its stores at least until April 8, when the trial between it and Macy’s Inc. resumes.
The trial over who has the right to sell Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO) products began two weeks ago, and was expected to conclude this week. However, that hasn’t happened, and the judge presiding in the case, Justice Jeffrey Oing, has encouraged all parties to try to resolve their differences before the trial recommences on April 8.
The adjournment in the case is not good news for J.C. Penney, which was all set to start selling Stewart’s products.
For those of you who haven’t been paying attention: The battle began back in 2011 when J.C. Penney announced it purchased 17 percent of MSLO and planned to open Martha Stewart Living shops within its stores. In early 2012, Macy’s sought preliminary injunction against MSLO to block the deal. Macy’s claimed MSLO breached its contract with Macy’s when it entered into the agreement because Macy’s had an exclusive right with MSLO to sell Martha Stewart Living products. MSLO and J.C. Penney argued that the deal didn’t breach MSLO’s contract with Macy’s because they say that contract allows MSLO to sell Martha Stewart Living products in stand-alone stores—and they say the shops within J.C. Penney fall into that category. Macy’s didn’t buy it, and filed suit against J.C. Penney in August.
Follow all the details of this drama on InsideCounsel.com: