| NEW YORK, June 24
NEW YORK, June 24 J.C. Penney Co Inc
will likely learn in August whether it can sell certain Martha
Stewart-branded home goods it has been prevented from stocking
due to a lawsuit by rival Macy's Inc.
Closing arguments in the lawsuit have been scheduled for
August 1, Macy's attorney Theodore Grossman said on Monday.
Justice Jeffrey Oing, who is presiding over the case, has
said he will render a verdict soon after summations.
Macy's, which claims exclusive rights to Martha Stewart
cookware, bedding and bath products, sued Penney and Martha
Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc after the two companies
announced a partnership in December 2011. Macy's claims the deal
breaches its contract with the domestic diva's company.
The verdict will determine whether J.C. Penney can sell
Martha Stewart-branded goods in categories claimed by Macy's in
Martha Stewart stores within Penney.
The judge also will decide whether Penney can sell certain
Martha Stewart-designed goods without her name.
Until the judge rules, J.C. Penney cannot sell products in
Macy's exclusive categories under the Martha Stewart brand. But
it can sell a line of home goods designed by Stewart under the
"JCP Everyday" label.
While hearing the case, the judge allowed sale of Penney's
existing inventory of "JCP Everyday" goods, saying he could not
ignore the economic harm an adverse ruling would have caused
Penney. But he said Macy's could be entitled to damages.
Former J.C. Penney Chief Executive Ron Johnson viewed Martha
Stewart as key to his vision for remaking the struggling
retailer. Johnson, who failed to win over shoppers and
investors, was ousted April 8.
In addition to "JCP Everyday" products, J.C. Penney is
already selling Martha Stewart-branded party goods, curtains and
other products not claimed by Macy's.
A non-jury trial started in New York state court in
February. Testimony ended in April and post-trial briefs were
filed May 31.
The Aug. 1 date for closing arguments was set Monday
morning, Macy's attorney Grossman said when asked about the
case. The date has not yet been recorded in the court calendar.
The case is Macy's Inc v Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Inc, 650197/2012, New York State Supreme Court, New York County.