Macy's request for restraining order denied

Appeals judge denies Macy's request for restraining order vs. Penney in Martha Stewart spat

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- A New York Appellate judge has rejected Macy's request to slap rival J.C. Penney Co. with a temporary restraining order barring it from selling non-branded goods designed by Martha Stewart while an appeal is pending.

On Monday, rival Macy's Inc. filed an appeal to overturn a decision made by New York State Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey Oing on Friday. That decision had allowed Penney to sell home products under the label JCP Everyday until a lawsuit that Macy's is waging against Penney and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. is decided.

Macy's, based in Cincinnati, had argued that the JCP Everyday products violate its long-standing exclusive agreement with Martha Stewart in certain products like bedding and cookware.

Thursday's decision made by New York Appeals Judge Richard Andrias offers Penney a short-term reprieve until an appellate panel of five judges makes the decision on that issue. The ruling is expected late next week.

A temporary order made last summer by Oing still bars Penney of Plano, Texas, from selling Martha Stewart-branded goods in the exclusive categories.

The development is the latest in a heated court battle that started late February over the two department stores' partnership with Martha Stewart.

Macy's, which had a merchandising contract with the home maven since 2006, sued Martha Stewart and Penney after they signed a deal in December 2011 to develop mini Martha Stewart shops, planned for spring.

In afternoon trading, Macy's shares declined 55 cents to $43.06. JC Penney shares added 26 cents to $15.03.

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