J.C. Penney interfered with Macy's deal with Martha Stewart-judge

NEW YORK, June 16 Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:51pm EDT

NEW YORK, June 16 (Reuters) - J.C. Penney interfered with Macy's agreement with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia , a New York judge ruled on Monday.

Justice Jeffrey Oing of New York state court referred the issue of damages to a referee or special hearing officer.

But, he said in his written ruling, "Macy's failed to prove by 'clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence' that it is entitled to a punitive damage award."

Macy's sued Penney and Martha Stewart Living after the two announced a partnership in December 2011. Macy's said the agreement breached its contract with Martha Stewart that included exclusive rights to Martha Stewart-branded cookware, bedding and bath products.

In October, Penney and Martha Stewart Living announced a revised agreement that eliminated Stewart's products in home goods categories to which Macy's claimed exclusive rights.

(Reporting By Karen Freifeld)

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